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Lagarde gets ECB nod from eurozone finance ministers

Eurozone finance ministers have formally recommended Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, to lead the European Central Bank, member states announced Tuesday.

Eurozone finance ministers have formally recommended Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, to lead the European Central Bank, member states announced Tuesday.

As part of a package deal on EU top jobs, EU leaders proposed last week that Lagarde succeed Mario Draghi as ECB president after his term ends in October.

With Tuesday’s recommendation, which was agreed on the fringes of an EU finance ministers meeting, Lagarde‘s candidacy now goes to the European Parliament for consultation. EU leaders will make the final decision in October.

The ECB governs monetary policy for the 19-member eurozone and sets benchmark interest rates. Its sole mandate is price stability, but under Draghi, it also introduced a stimulus plan to fire up economic growth and boost inflation in the wake of Europe’s financial crisis.

Draghi has recently said that such measures may need to be renewed if growth falters and inflation falls further.

Lagarde would vacate a post at the IMF that has traditionally been held by a European. The question of her successor remains open.

On Monday, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called for a quick decision on the IMF and said that a European should replace her. On Tuesday, other finance ministers echoed his call.

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