ECB Job Mustn’t Be Bargaining Chip in Talks on Euro, France Says

Euro-area governments should avoid horse-trading over Mario Draghi’s job at the European Central Bank and focus this year on deepening integration of the currency union, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.

With Draghi’s term expiring in 2019, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann has been frequently touted as a successor. That could potentially be part of a broader deal that would see Germany agree to tighten its ties with the rest of the bloc. Le Maire sought to take that option off the table, arguing that euro members should aim to make progress on integration before discussing who should lead the central bank.

“We still have some time before deciding who will be the next chair of the ECB,” Le Maire said in a television interview at his office in Paris last week. “But we should not wait before taking decisions as far as the integration of the euro zone is…

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