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UPDATE 2-Uruguay names central bank chief new economy minister
December 23, 2013 / 6:21 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 2-Uruguay names central bank chief new economy minister

MONTEVIDEO, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Uruguayan President Jose Mujica said on Monday that Mario Bergara, head of the central bank, will become the new economy minister on December 26.

A government source told Reuters that Bergara’s post at the central bank will be filled by Alberto Grana, the current head of economic policy and markets at the central bank.

The shake-up in the South American country’s top economic positions follows outgoing economy minister Fernando Lorenzo’s resignation on Saturday amid allegations he took part in the irregular sale of government-owned airplanes.

Bergara, a 48-year-old accountant and economist who headed the central bank since 2008, is widely expected to uphold policies implemented under Lorenzo. His main challenge will be tackling the South American country’s stubbornly high inflation rate, which was 8.51 percent in November.

During Bergara’s term, the central bank abandoned the use of a single benchmark interest rate to fight inflation - using money supply variables to guide policy instead.

Bergara earned a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, and served as former President Tabare Vazquez’ deputy economy minister. He is due to take up his new job on Thursday.

Officials at the central bank were not immediately available to comment on Bergara’s potential successor.

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