Portugal Wants Next ECB Head to Stick With Draghi's Approach

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(Bloomberg) -- Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa wants the European Central Bank to continue with Mario Draghi’s robust approach to policy after the ECB president steps down next year.

“We’d like someone who could continue the very good role played by Mr. Draghi, who was greatly responsible for saving the euro,” Costa said in an interview in London. “The nationality of the future president of the ECB is not the question. The question is what is the policy of the ECB? What is important is the continuity and the stability of Mr. Draghi’s approach in the future.”

Draghi’s eight-year term, which ends in October 2019, has so far been dominated by unprecedented monetary measures aimed at averting the breakup of the bloc and staving off deflation. Many of those steps have been criticized by Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, who is currently viewed as the front-runner in the succession battle.

Portugal has been a beneficiary of the ECB’s stance, seeing borrowing costs tumble and unemployment drop to below the euro-area average. The nation’s economy expanded 2.7 percent last year, the fastest growth in almost two decades.

The next ECB head will be chosen by European governments in multiple rounds of horse-trading that will include the replacement of most of the Executive Board, the head of the Single Supervisory Mechanism and political positions such as the European Commission presidency.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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