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He was the frontrunner, but now Ireland has withdrawn Philip Lane as a candidate for top ECB job

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said he didn’t want the candidacy of Lane to be a “source of disagreement”.

Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

MINISTER FOR FINANCE Paschal Donohoe has announced that a decision has been made to withdraw Central Bank governor Philip Lane as a candidate for the role as vice-president of the European Central Bank.

He said that Lane was being withdrawn from the running so as not to be a “source of disagreement” among member states of the EU.

Lane had originally won the backing of a key European Parliament committee but will now not contest for the position, with Spain’s economy minister Luis De Guindos set to take the role.

The Eurogroup meeting today considered nominations for the post of ECB vice president, with De Guindos to be formally given the role later this week.

Addressing reports last month, Minister Donohoe said that Lane had “served the Central Bank with distinction”, was “eminently qualified for the role” and deserved the support of other EU finance ministers.

Donohoe said in a statement today that he had received “very positive feedback and expressions of support” from member states on Lane’s credentials for vice president, and called him an “exceptionally well-qualified candidate” who would’ve been an “ideal person” to take the job.

The Minister went on: “However, I believe that it is crucial that the election of a new vice-president for the ECB is based on consensus, ad should not be a source of disagreement

In that context, I have decided that, on balance, it would be in the interests of the Euro-area as a whole to withdraw Philip’s candidacy in advance of any vote.

After talking to both Lane and De Guidos, it had appeared Lane was in pole position to land the job. EU Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs chairman Roberto Gualtieri said that in an informal hearing “the majority of the political groups considered Governor Lane’s performance more convincing”.

“Some groups expressed reservations for Minister De Guindos’ appointment,” he added in a statement.

Donohoe closed his statement by congratulating De Guindos and said he has “an excellent track record” in Spain.

He added: “I also wish to reiterate my appreciation to Professor Philip Lane for putting himself forward as a candidate, whose ability and expertise was widely praised throughout the process.”

Read: Irish ECB candidate Philip Lane wins backing of key EU parliament committee

Read: ‘Take a look in the mirror’: Why didn’t the Central Bank act earlier on the tracker mortgage scandal?

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Sean Murray

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