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EU lawmakers give first backing to Lagarde for top ECB job

Christine Lagarde, the next president of the European Central Bank, speaks to the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in Brussels, Belgium September 4, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Parliament’s economic and monetary committee backed on Wednesday the appointment of Christine Lagarde as president of the European Central Bank, the committee said.

The full parliament will need to confirm the committee’s backing in a new vote planned in two weeks. The lawmakers’ votes are not binding but carry political weight.

Lawmakers in the committee voted 37 in favour, 11 against and with four abstentions, in what was a secret ballot.

Lagarde was selected in July by EU leaders to replace Mario Draghi from November at the helm of the most powerful financial institution in the bloc.

After the parliament votes, EU leaders will formalise her appointment at a regular summit in mid-October.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio, editing by Robin Emmott