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ECB’s Asmussen Says Mersch Can’t Be Made Victim of Gender Debate

Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank Executive Board Member Joerg Asmussen said Luxembourg’s Yves Mersch shouldn’t be held hostage in a debate on gender diversity in top European Union posts as his move to the ECB board remains in limbo.

The appointment of Mersch has been stalled by a European Parliament committee that protested against the absence of women on the ECB’s six-member executive board. Asmussen said while debates about more women in top EU posts are “correct,” it isn’t right to use Luxembourg’s Central Bank governor as a means to achieving this.

“It would help the ECB Executive Board in the current difficult situation if we were quickly complete again, and to have someone as stability-oriented as Yves Mersch would help us a lot with his know-how and experience,” Asmussen said in a speech in Vienna today.

The ECB seat has been empty since June 1. Mersch was selected by European finance ministers in July and is awaiting a parliament vote before taking office. The parliament’s next opportunity is in the week of Oct. 22. EU President Herman Van Rompuy said in a letter to lawmakers released last week that no member state put forward a female candidate for the ECB job.

Asmussen said there are “several very good bank supervisors in Europe” and that the planned European bank oversight plan will create “a good opportunity” to put more women in top posts.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at; Craig Stirling at

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