16 MAY 2011
By Sean O'Grady | The Independent
European Union finance ministers gather in Brussels tomorrow for a crucial meeting to restore confidence in the single currency zone, after growth figures released on Friday exposed the increasing fundamental differences developing between the healthy "core" nations and the troubled periphery.
The ministers are also expected formally to agree the appointment of Mario Draghi to succeed Jean-Claude Trichet as president of the European Central Bank from this October. Mr Draghi is currently head of the Italian central bank and the Financial Stability Board, the "club" for G20 central bankers and bank regulators. Extremely well respected by his peers, "Super Mario" has been the front-runner for the ECB job since Axel Weber, former president of the Bundesbank, unexpectedly walked away in February.
Mr Draghi easily won the support of his "home" leader, Silvio Berlusconi, plus the backing of President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel, who, countering critics who said inflation "is as Italian as pasta with tomato sauce", said last week of Mr Draghi: "His views are very close to our ideas of the stability culture and solid economic policies."
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