Belgian appointed to European Central Bank's key economics job

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The Independent Online

Peter Praet was yesterday appointed to the chief economic role on the European Central Bank's (ECB) executive board.

The holder of the position is responsible for setting the template that determines the central bank's interest rate decisions.

The Belgian economist has taken the place of Jürgen Stark, the German who resigned from the ECB last year over objections to the central bank's purchases of eurozone sovereign bonds.

In a speech in Vienna last month, Mr Praet said that ECB bond purchases were no panacea for the eurozone debt crisis.

Jörg Asmussen, the former German civil servant who was appointed to the ECB board when Mr Stark stepped down, was appointed to head up the central bank's international relations.

Benoît Cœuré, the former deputy head of the French Treasury, will oversee the bond-buying programme at the ECB.