The announcement by Axel Weber in February that he was withdrawing his name from consideration as the next head of the European Central Bank (ECB) opened the field to other candidates, but as time has passed Mario Draghi, head of Italy’s central bank, has emerged as the strongest of those. And on Monday some euro zone officials were reportedly commenting on Draghi’s likely appointment as a “done deal.”
Reuters reported that, with the head of Germany’s Bundesbank out of the running, none of the other candidates has threatened Draghi’s position as front-runner and likely successor to Jean-Claude Trichet, who has held the post for eight years. It was originally thought that Angela Merkel, Germany’s prime minister, would push for another German to step up in Weber’s stead to challenge Draghi, but now it appears that is not the case.
One German government official was quoted in the report as saying, "I think we are beyond the point in Europe where the qualifications of a person are seen primarily through the prism of their nationality. We can't put forward a candidate just because he is German. And another candidate wouldn't be bad just because he's Italian." The official praised the work Draghi has done to coordinate global financial regulation as head of the Financial Stability Board.