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Italy's Mario Draghi to take over from Trichet after French qualms quashed

The only candidate for the post has been officially appointed Trichet’s successor.

Mario Draghi.
Mario Draghi.
Image: AP Photo/Yves Logghe

EU LEADERS have officially appointed Italy’s Central Bank Governor Mario Draghi the next president of the European Central Bank.

Jean-Claude Trichet is due to retire from the post after eight years at the helm of the organisation at the end of October.

Although Draghi had been signalled to take the role at last month’s EU leaders’ summit, his appointment came under doubt because his fellow Italian executive board member Bini Smaghi had refused to leave his post on the board until today.

If Draghi was appointed and Smaghi stayed on, France would have no member on the six-person board. It was understood France would not support Draghi’s appointment if they did not secure a board position.

The ECB plays a central role in European finance and has been particularly involved in the debt crisis over the past 18 months. The organisation is responsible for setting the monetary policies of the euro, including setting the currency’s key interest rate.

- Additional reporting by the AP

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