BRUSSELS – The president of the Eurogroup defended on Wednesday the appointment of Spain’s economy minister as vice president of the European Central Bank based strictly on the Spaniard’s track record.
Speaking at the European Parliament’s Economic Committee, Mario Centeno, who heads a gathering of European Union finance ministers from countries that use the euro known as the Eurogroup, said the choice of Spain’s Luis de Guindos for the ECB was based on the appraisal of his resume.
“I am sure the screening made by the ministers was strictly focused on the resumes of both candidates,” Centeno said replying to a question by Spain’s Partido Democratico de Cataluña (PDeCAT) MEP, Ramon Tremosa.
Tremosa added that last week, the EP’s Economic Committee had considered De Guindos “less convincing” that his rival candidate, Irish Central Bank Governor, Philip Lane, at a meeting with both candidates.
Centeno said both candidates’ resumes were “highly valued” by the Eurozone’s EcoFin ministers (Eurogroup) who, on Monday, appointed De Guindos to occupy the ECB vice-presidency, a voting session which Spain’s economy minister did not attend.
“I think it is more important to keep the procedure open, transparent, accountable and that everyone can judge, in an open way, the merits of each candidate,” replied the former finance minister of Portugal.
On the other hand, in response to EP’s gender equality demands regarding the ECB vice-president’s appointment, Centeno stressed the “importance” of “improving” the current state of affairs but also noted the Eurogroup only had two male candidates to choose from.
“This is something our member states must consider,” he said, adding that Portugal had already implemented legislation conducive to promoting diversity.