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IMF’s Lagarde in the running to replace Draghi at the ECB



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Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is one name being touted as a possible replacement for Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB).
The leaders of the 28 EU member states are currently locked in discussions to figure out who will lead the various European institutions, following parliamentary elections in May. All of the main EU bodies, which includes the ECB, need a new president.

Four different EU officials confirmed to CNBC that Lagarde is one of the possible names for the ECB’s top job. The current president, Draghi, finishes his eight-year mandate in October and his successor would be in place the following month.

Lagarde, a former finance minister of France, has been managing director of the International Monetary Fund since 2011. Her mandate is due to end in 2021.

European leaders are also discussing other names that could replace Draghi, including Sylvie Goulard — the deputy governor of the Bank of France. Prior to the summit, two other French names were also mentioned: Benoit Coeure, who is a French economist and currently serves as a member of the executive board at the ECB; and Francois Villeroy de Galhau, who is France’s current central bank governor. However, given the lack of women in top EU positions, the 28 heads of state are looking to select more female leaders for the next political cycle.

Nonetheless, there is no agreement yet in Brussels — where the 28 heads of state have been gathered since Sunday. Lagarde’s political background — she was a member of a conservative government — could prove a challenge, as the ECB and its president are deemed to be politically independent.