Schaeuble supports Lautenschlaeger for ECB

BERLIN Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:23am EST

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BERLIN Dec 16 (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Monday that Bundesbank Vice President Sabine Lautenschlaeger would be a worthy candidate to succeed Joerg Asmussen on the European Central Bank Council's Executive Board.

In an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio, Schaeuble said: "She is an excellent Bundesbank vice president."

He added she had extensive experience in banking supervision, which will gain relevance when the central bank takes on the role of the region's banking supervisor.

To propose her as Asmussen's successor would "certainly be well worth considering," Schaeuble said. Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday Germany would have a candidate for the ECB post being vacated by Asmussen.

Asmussen said on Sunday he would quit the ECB to accept a job as deputy labour minister in the new German "grand coalition" so that he could move from Frankfurt to Berlin to be with his family.

Schaeuble praised Asmussen's decision. "I think that's great. He's a good man." Asmussen was previously deputy finance minister under Schaeuble and his predecessor Peer Steinbrueck from 2008 to 2011 before moving to the ECB.

Among the other candidates for the ECB are BaFin head Elke Koenig and the head of the Halle institute for economic research, Claudia Buch. (Writing by Erik Kirschbaum; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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