France's Sarkozy Opposes Weber As Next ECB President: Press

First Published Friday, 22nd October 2010 01:52 pm - © 2010 MNI News

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PARIS (MNI) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy is opposed to naming Bundesbank President Axel Weber to the post of ECB President when Jean-Claude Trichet steps down next autumn, France's business daily La Tribune reported on Friday.

Citing sources close to the French president, the paper reported that Sarkozy will feel a certain sense of relief when Trichet's term ends on October 31 2011, but that he has no intention of allowing Weber to succeed him.

The appointment of the ECB president must ultimately be approved by the EU's political leaders and Sarkozy, as head of one of the EU's largest economies, will have significant weight in that decision.

The sources cited by the daily said Sarkozy had never signaled to German Chancellor Angela Merkel that he would accept a German in the ECB's top post. As if to hammer the point home, the sources noted that Sarkozy had recently received Bank of Italy Governor Mario Draghi, who is widely considered to be Weber's main challenger for the ECB presidency.

After Merkel ceded on Monday to France's wishes for a softening of proposed new EU fiscal rules, rumors circulated that Sarkozy in return had pledged to support Weber's ECB candidacy.

With Trichet's departure, France would no longer have a representative on the ECB's Executive Board, which means that Paris will likely have first rights to the next board opening, which will occur when the term of Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell expires next June.

--Paris newsroom +331 4271 5540; e-mail: paris@marketnews.com --

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