The term of European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet ends on 31 Oct, and his successor, Italian banker Mario Draghi, starts work the next day. Trichet, credited with steering the ECB through the financial crisis and then Europe's sovereign debt crisis, says key qualifications for the job are readiness to act in exceptional circumstances and a long-term view. His replacement will be expected to steer Europe out of its economic doldrums.
When the turmoil at the 17-year-old bank erupted in Aug 2007, Trichet won praise for averting a greater meltdown by issuing emergency loans to banks. His reluctance to follow with a cut to interest rates undercut some of the praise. City analysts are watching the succession battle closely, according to Britain's Guardian newspaper, because the ECB faces a crucial decision about when to begin raising interest rates as recovery takes hold. The move is seen as potentially devastating for fragile economies if it is taken too soon. According to the 1991 Maastricht Treaty, the ECB president must be from the euro area and boast 'recognized standing and professional experience in monetary or banking matters.'; The ECB was launched 1 Jun 1998 to govern monetary union in European Union countries that bought into the system. The first ECB president was a Dutchman, (Wim) Duisenberg. ;
Date written/update: 2011-10-31