Juncker Won’t Accept New Term Unless Mersch Gets ECB Post

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said he won’t accept appointment to another term as head of the group of euro-area finance ministers unless Yves Mersch, Luxembourg’s central-bank chief, is named to a seat on the European Central Bank’s Executive Board.

“I would be ready to prolong my mandate for six months because of the acute crisis situation that we face,” Juncker told reporters today in Brussels after a meeting of European leaders. “But because the heads of state and government were not able to appoint Mr. Mersch as a member of the ECB board today, I told the ladies and gentlemen that as long as Mr. Mersch isn’t appointed, I will not accept the nomination proposal.”

Euro-area leaders, who today concluded a two-day summit in Brussels, have so far failed to nominate a successor on the ECB’s six-member board for Spain’s Jose Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo, whose eight-year term concluded at the end of May. ECB President Mario Draghi sent a letter to European Union President Herman Van Rompuy on June 18 urging him to fill the vacant position quickly to ensure the institution functions effectively.

“It is highly likely that we can take decisions in the beginning of the month of July,” Van Rompuy told a press conference today. “We were not complete as a euro-zone summit by the end of our meeting at noon, and the German Chancellor had to leave because she has a debate in the Bundestag. So we couldn’t take a decision because we have to be with 17 to take decisions on appointments.”

Juncker said he expects a decision by July 9 at the latest.

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