Spain's de Guindos says he will defend independence of European Central Bank

The European Central Bank is getting a new deputy, but don't expect a hawkish change of direction

De Guindos' only opponent, the Irish central bank governor Philip Lane, withdrew his candidacy to the position earlier on Monday afternoon.

De Guindos' career in the private sector ended with him holding the can as the head of Lehman Brothers' operations in Spain and Portugal when the parent bank kicked the bucket in 2008. His academic and advisory experience in global macroeconomics is extensive, and includes years of consultative work with the Asian Development Bank, OECD, the International Monetary Fund, and World Bank. But de Guindos dismissed this criticism. According to Spanish daily El Mundo, he is also supported by France - a crucial backing to secure the Eurogroup's endorsement.

According to various EU politicians, the appointment could affect the independence of the ECB as de Guindos is a sitting minister and a European Peoples Party stalwart.

"Lane has shown himself to be a distinguished and proven economist".

Eurozone finance ministers were expected to pick Luis de Guindos for the top job, the first of a series of changes at the European Central Bank over the coming two years. But Monday's discussion between the eurozone's 19 ministers is were the decision will be prepared.

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"Vitor Constancio has been a finance minister and a secretary of a political party", the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation, and Customs, Pierre Moscovici.

After being chosen as European Central Bank vice president, De Guindos said he would resign as Economy Minister within days.

De Guindos, who will step down as minister if confirmed, stressed earlier this month that he has always defended the independence of the European Central Bank and "would continue to do it if I am selected".

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