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MNI (London)
--No Official Discussions Yet Taken Place, BoF Head Also A Contender
By Chris Mc Innes
     LONDON (MNI) - Authorities in Finland already appear to be jockeying for
position in the ECB presidency race, while the intensified level of
international appearances of the head of the Bank of France is seen underlining
his ambitions, MNI understands.
     Finnish central bank governor Erkki Liikanen would receive ministerial and
cross-party support in Finland if he chooses to run for the ECB presidency,
according to a senior official in Finland's Finance Ministry. While not directly
touting for the job, Liikanen himself declined to rule out the possibility in an
interview last week.
     The experienced 67-year-old would be a strong candidate to replace Draghi,
according to the same source. Liikanen will have served 14 years at the helm of
the Bank of Finland and on the ECB Governing Council when he steps down in July
this year.
     He would also bring to the position decades of experience in Brussels as a
former European commissioner and Finnish ambassador.
     However, another senior Finish government source told MNI that no official
discussions regarding a possible Liikanen candidacy had taken place yet.
     His French counterpart, Francois Villeroy de Galhau, has the advantage of
representing a major Eurozone economy. He also has political experience in
Brussels as well as Paris and, like Draghi, can claim financial sector
experience, having worked at BNP Paribas.
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: les.commons@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: M$E$$$,M$F$$$,M$X$$$,MC$$$$,MX$$$$,M$$EC$,MGX$$$]
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 | les.commons@marketnews.com