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--As Nomination Deadline Looms, Ireland's Lane May Be Unopposed For Econ Role
By David Thomas
     BRUSSELS (MNI) - Central Bank of Ireland Governor Philip Lane looks set to
clinch the nomination to become the next European Central Bank Chief Economist
later on Wednesday, appearing to be unopposed as the deadline looms for formal
applications to replace the outgoing Peter Praet, sources told MNI.
     With applications for Praet's position on the Executive Board due to close
at 1700CET Wednesday, officials said it seemed no other candidates would be
forthcoming.
     One Eurosystem source indicated to MNI that Lane looks unlikely to face a
rival, with another adding the "outstanding candidate for the role" was set for
an early nomination.
     An EU official close to the process also suggested Lane would have a clear
run at the job, although with the caveat: "That's my understanding too, but who
knows?"
     An announcement by the EU Council is anticipated at around 1800 CET
tonight.
     --LEADING ECONOMIST
     Lane, a highly respected academic macro-economist, has been governor of the
Central Bank of Ireland since 2015. He would be expected to continue the highly
gradualist approach to policy normalisation promoted by Praet and ECB President
Mario Draghi.
     He has long been favoured for the coming Executive Board vacancy,
especially since CBI Deputy Governor Sharon Donnery lost the race to become head
of the ECB's Single Supervisory Mechanism to Italy's Andrea Enria last autumn.
     The next steps in the appointment procedure are a hearing in the European
Parliament, approval by the Eurogroup and final confirmation by EU leaders.
Praet steps down on May 31.
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: les.commons@marketnews.com
--MNI London Bureau; +44 203 865 3829; email: jason.webb@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: M$E$$$,M$X$$$,MC$$$$,MT$$$$,MX$$$$,M$$EC$,MGX$$$]