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MNI (London)
--However, Some Suggest Ireland Deputy Gov Donnery Also Possible
     LONDON (MNI) - European Central Bank Chief Economist Peter Praet ends his
term in May 2019 and, with the focus on who will succeed President Mario Draghi,
the positioning for the top economics post is going largely unnoticed.
     One of the candidates for the influential post will likely be Irish central
bank Governor Philip Lane, an acknowledged economist who tends to the dovish
side on the council. Lane initially applied for the VP role, but withdrew from
the selection process in favour of De Guindos in a tactical move.
     "That was foreseeable, because ultimately, the Irish are interested in the
Chief Economist position," the Eurosystem informant said. But the ECB faces "a
gender problem", and a female candidate could be in pole position.
     Against this background, Dublin could nominate Sharon Donnery instead of
Lane, the Deputy Governor of the central bank. "She has not been at the bank for
long but possesses a good reputation," the Eurosystem source said. 
     Ireland is in a good position to take the Chief Economist position, as it
is the only founding member of the euro area which never occupied a post on the
Executive Board.
     Other candidates will be mooted, including Estonian central bank Governor
Ardo Hansson. 
     "He is a bit reserved and not so present in the networks," the source
stressed. "But if other alternatives do not work out, he could be a compromise
candidate as he definitely has all the necessary attributes."
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: les.commons@marketnews.com
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MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 | les.commons@marketnews.com