February 21, 2018 / 9:28 AM / a year ago

It is not certain the next ECB chief will be Germany's Weidmann: Italy minister

FILE PHOTO: Germany's federal reserve Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann stands beside the door of a giant safe as he poses for a photograph at the money museum next to the Bundesbank headquarters during a photo shoot with Reuters in Frankfurt May 17, 2013. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said on Wednesday that it should not be taken for granted that Germany’s Jens Weidmann will be the next European Central Bank governor.

The choice of a southern European, Spain’s Economy Minister Luis de Guindos, as ECB vice president on Monday was seen as a move that cleared the way for a German to take over the top job in 2019, when Mario Draghi’s mandate ends.

When asked in a TV interview if it was a given that Weidmann would be the next ECB chief, Padoan replied: “No.”

“Italy would like to see the policy that turned out to be essential for saving the single currency continued,” he said in an interview with La7 television.

“We should always be grateful to Mario Draghi because the great political courage behind his decisions saved the currency. If he had followed the mechanical rules that others sought, it wouldn’t have happened.”

Reporting by Francesca Piscioneri, writing by Steve Scherer; editing by Agnieszka Flak

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