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Spain Government Proposes Escriva as Central Bank Chief: Pais

Jose Luis Escriva Belmonte, Spain's digital transformation minister, arrives for a cabinet meeting at Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023. Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez unveiled his new 22-member cabinet after winning reelection in a confidence vote last week with the backing of Catalan separatists. Photographer: Paul Hanna/Bloomberg (Paul Hanna/Bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) -- Spain’s government has proposed Digital Transformation Minister Jose Luis Escriva as central bank governor, El País reported, citing unidentified people close to the matter. 

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s cabinet and the opposition People’s Party are negotiating the appointment of a new chief to succeed Pablo Hernandez de Cos. The conservative PP rejected the executive’s pick on the basis that candidates to the role shouldn’t be current government officials, El País said.

Spanish Economy Minister Carlos Cuerpo canceled a planned announcement in parliament on Thursday where he was expected to name the next Bank of Spain chief.

“The government continues to work with the People’s Party to reach an agreement to name the governor and deputy governor of the Bank of Spain,” the economy ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

Press officers for prime minister’s office on Thursday didn’t respond to messages and calls.

De Cos’s term ended a month ago, and while the acting governor — Margarita Delgado — can participate in European Central Bank Governing Council meetings, she doesn’t have a vote.

Economy Minister Carlos Cuerpo declined to comment on possible Escriva appointment Thursday.

“We have plenty of time and the maintenance of the adequate and correct functioning of the Bank of Spain is assured,” he said in Madrid.

Several ECB policymakers have previously served as government ministers, including Vice President Luis de Guindos. He served as Spanish finance minister in a PP executive and made a direct move to Frankfurt. 

On a national level, the central bank chiefs of Portugal, Greece, Slovakia and Malta were all finance ministers before assuming their current jobs. 

--With assistance from Macarena Muñoz.

(Updates with other central bank appointments in final paragraph.)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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