Spain’s economy minister Luis de Guindos has been chosen as deputy chairman of the European Central Bank (BCE) after rival candidate Philip Lane’s application was withdrawn by the Irish government.
Lane, who is governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, looked set to clinch the role – which carries a salary of around €350,000 – due to his very relevant experience, but finance minister in the country, Paschal Donohoe, announced the BCE job was no longer under consideration.
This meant De Guindos was the sole candidate and he will now be second in command to BCE chairman Mario Draghi from June after Portugal’s Vítor Constáncio leaves when his term of office ends.
De Guindos’ new job, which will see his salary go up more than fivefold, will not be confirmed until today (Tuesday) when the official announcement is made.
But Philip Lane has not been barred from applying to the BCE altogether – in the next two years, five key roles at the central Eurozone hub in Frankfurt will come up for renewal and Lane will be permitted to file his candidature.
Meanwhile, De Guindos will be in the BCE job for six years.
Only Italy was reluctant to agree his application since Spain voted for Amsterdam over Milan to host the European Medicines Agency, but the rest of the major European economies – including Germany, France, Portugal, Malta and Slovakia – backed De Guindos.
De Guindos is expected to resign as economy minister at the end of March when the EU heads of State, who make up the Council of Europe, confirm his appointment.