12 APR 2011
By Noah Barkin, Giselda Vagnoni, Daniel Flynn (Italy's Draghi on track for ECB post, officials say
BERLIN/ROME/PARIS, April 11 (Reuters) - Italian 's chances of becoming the next president of the ECB have risen steadily over the past weeks with some euro zone officials now describing his bid to replace Jean-Claude Trichet as close to a 'done deal'.
The officials, all of whom requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of issue, said no viable alternative to Draghi has emerged since leading contender Axel Weber, the outspoken head of Germany's Bundesbank, withdrew his name from consideration two months ago.
Also working in the Italian's favour are signs that German officials see Draghi as the most qualified of a small group of contenders for the second most powerful central banking job in the world after the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Contrary to what some euro member states surmised after Weber's abrupt withdrawal, Berlin does not appear determined to secure the post for a German or a northern European, the officials indicated.
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