Thomas Wieser, an Austrian finance official, is due to become the permanent head of two European Union committees on the front lines in combating the debt crisis, two people familiar with the decision said.
U.S.-born Wieser, head of the Austrian Finance Ministry’s economic policy and financial markets department, will run committees of national finance and central bank officials that prepare meetings of finance ministers from the euro area and the broader 27-nation EU, said the people, who declined to be identified because contractual details haven’t been finalized.
Wieser, 57, will be the first full-time chairman of the panels, part of European efforts to streamline decision-making amid the debt crisis. Previously, a national official was elected as chairman on a rotating basis. Harald Waiglein, a spokesman for Austria’s Finance Ministry, declined to comment.
Born in Bethesda, Maryland, Wieser studied economics in Innsbruck and as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Colorado. He already served a two-year term as rotating chairman of one of the committees, the Economic and Financial Committee, which works for all EU ministers.
The second committee, known as the Eurogroup Working Group, prepares meetings of ministers from the 17-nation euro area. Wieser is likely to start in January once European governments give the final approval and decide on the length of his term, the people said.
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