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Estonia’s Ligi Asked to Apply for Central Bank Governor’s Post

June 13 (Bloomberg) -- Finance Minister Juergen Ligi has been asked to seek the post of central bank governor when Andres Lipstok’s term expires next June.

“Juergen Ligi, having been a very strong finance minister, is certainly qualified for this position,” said Jaan Mannik, the bank’s supervisory board chairman, who asked Ligi to apply. Ligi said he would like to think about the decision until August, Mannik said today in a phone interview. The Estonian newspaper Postimees reported Mannik’s request on June 11.

Lipstok, whose seven-year term ends June 6, 2012, became a voting member of the European Central Bank council when Estonia adopted the euro on Jan. 1. He can’t be re-elected.

The central bank’s eight-member supervisory board will meet Sept. 6 to draw up a list of two to four candidates, Mannik said. A successor to Lipstok must be backed by five board members and approved by Estonian President Toomas Ilves.

Ligi was reappointed in April after the ruling coalition won a larger majority in March elections following its decision to implement austerity measures equal to 9 percent of economic output in 2009 to remain on course to adopt the euro. Ligi has degrees in geography and international economy from Tartu University in Estonia and has taken courses toward a master’s in business administration at the Estonian Business School.

Ligi, 51, said the central bank governor needs to be “a practitioner, with fiscally conservative actions, experiences and instincts,” according to a comment forwarded by Finance Ministry. He declined to comment on whether he plans to apply.

Ardo Hansson, the World Bank’s chief economist for China, is “very likely” to be shortlisted as a candidate, Mannik said. Hansson said today he may consider applying if he is approached about the job.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ott Ummelas in Tallinn at;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at

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