June 24 - European Union leaders appoint Italy's Mario Draghi as the next president of the European Central Bank at a summit in Brussels. Matt Cowan reports.
EU leaders appointed Italy's Mario Draghi as the next president of the European Central Bank, and said another Italian will step down from the ECB's Executive Board early to smooth the process. French officials had expressed concern in recent weeks about Draghi's appointment as it would have meant two Italians being on the ECB's six-member executive board with no French representation. The other Italian, Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, is not due to leave his eight-year post until May 2013. He initially seemed reluctant to go early, but French President Nicolas Sarkozy told a news conference that he'd received an assurance he'd move on by year's end. One possible solution is a move to Draghi's soon to be vacated post as governor of the Bank of Italy, which would allow Bini Smaghi to keep a vote on the ECB's Governing Council. Meanwhile, Super Mario as he's often known, is set to begin his eight year term at the helm of the ECB on November 1. Matt Cowan, Reuters