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Estonian Central Bank Governor Lipstok Nominates New Deputies

Estonian central bank Governor Andres Lipstok has proposed two candidates to replace Deputy Governors Marten Ross and Rein Minka after the bank’s supervisory board rejected them due to a lack of international credentials.

The board will discuss the nomination of Madis Muller, a fund manager at the International Finance Corp., and Ulo Kaasik, head of the central bank’s policy department, at a meeting from 9 a.m. Friday, Chairman Jaan Mannik said in an e-mailed statement today.

The supervisory board, consisting of seven members plus Mannik, last Tuesday rejected Ross and Minka in a secret vote that wasn’t unanimous. Mannik said on Apr. 27 he would prefer nominees with “significant international experience.”

Governor Andres Lipstok, whose term ends in June 2012, became a voting member of the European Central Bank council when Estonia adopted the euro on Jan. 1. Ross and Minka joined the central bank in 1992, shortly after Estonia regained its independence from the Soviet Union, and have been deputy governors since 2000.

Ross was “instrumental” in helping Estonia meet the qualifications for joining the euro, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said last week, criticizing the way Ross and Minka were rejected as “improper treatment.” Minka, in charge of coordinating the transition to the euro from the kroon, was responsible for a flawless changeover, he said then.

Hardo Pajula, a Tallinn-based economist with SEB AB, the second-biggest bank in the Baltic states, said last week Ross’s rejection was surprising as he has been considered a key person in setting central bank policies.

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