SHARE
COPY LINK

ECONOMY

MEPs raise concerns over de Guindos as ECB candidate

Irish central bank chief Philip Lane, who is running for the vice-presidency of the European Central Bank, on Thursday won the backing of a key European Parliament committee.

MEPs raise concerns over de Guindos as ECB candidate
Luis de Guindos is in the running for the ECB job. Photo: AFP

After talking to Lane and his rival for the job, Spanish Economy Minister Luis De Guindos, in an informal hearing “the majority of the political groups considered Governor Lane's performance more convincing”, Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs chairman Roberto Gualtieri said.

“Some groups expressed reservations for Minister De Guindos' appointment,” he added in a statement.

Eurozone finance ministers are scheduled on Monday to pick their favourite to succeed Portugal's Vitor Constancio, whose eight-year mandate expires in May, as the ECB's number two.

The final decision will be taken on March 22 at an EU summit after consultations with the European Parliament and the ECB's Governing Council.   

Luis de Guindos said this month he was “convinced” he will have enough support to clinch the post after Madrid officially nominated him for the job.    

Constancio's replacement is being watched closely in European capitals as it is the first in a series of changes due at the top of the ECB over the coming two years, including the post of the chief of the bank currently held by Italian Mario Draghi.

The committee Thursday also said it “regrets that no female candidates have been put forward, as requested, and calls for a more gender balanced representation in the ECB”.

Only one woman currently sits on the ECB's ruling body, German national Sabine Lautenschlaeger.

MONEY

Italy expands €200 payment scheme and introduces public transport bonus

Italy's government will extend its proposed one-time €200 benefit to more people and introduce a €60 public transport payment, Italian media reported on Thursday.

Italy expands €200 payment scheme and introduces public transport bonus

Seasonal workers, domestic and cleaning staff, the self-employed, the unemployed and those on Italy’s ‘citizens’ income’ will be added to the categories of people in Italy eligible for a one-off €200 payment, ministers reportedly announced on Thursday evening.

The one-time bonus, announced earlier this week as part of a package of financial measures designed to offset the rising cost of living, was initially set to be for pensioners and workers on an income of less than €35,000 only.

However the government has now agreed to extend the payment to the additional groups following pressure from Italy’s labour, families, and regional affairs ministers and representatives of the Five Star Movement, according to news agency Ansa.

Pensioners and employees will reportedly receive the €200 benefit between June and July via a direct payment into their pension slip or pay packet.

For other groups, a special fund will be created at the Labour Ministry and the procedures for claiming and distributing payments detailed in an incoming decree, according to the Corriere della Sera news daily.

One new measure introduced at the cabinet meeting on Thursday is the introduction of a one-time €60 public transport bonus for students and workers earning below €35,000. The bonus is reportedly designed to encourage greater use of public transport and will take the form of an e-voucher that can be used when purchasing a bus, train or metro season pass.

Other provisions reportedly proposed in the energy and investment decree (decreto energia e investimenti), which is still being adjusted and amended, include extending energy bill discounts, cutting petrol excise duty and rolling on the deadline to claim Italy’s popular ‘superbonus 110’.

The €14 billion aid package, intended to lessen the economic impact of the war in Ukraine, will “fight the higher cost of living” and is “a temporary situation”, Prime Minister Mario Draghi has said.

The Local will report further details of the payment scheme once they become available following final approval of the decree.

SHOW COMMENTS