MOVES-ESM appoints Tumpel-Gugerell as independent assessor

LONDON, Sept 7 (IFR) - The board of the European Stability Mechanism has appointed former Austrian central bank vice-governor Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell to assess the financial assistance programmes to Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus by the ESM and its predecessor, the European Financial Stability Facility.

Earlier this year the independent evaluation office of the International Monetary Fund produced a report on that body’s involvement in the initial rescue programme for Greece, the largest and most controversial of these interventions.

So far the IMF’s European counterparts in these aid packages have yet to have their roles assessed independently.

The appointment was made by Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Dutch finance minister and head of the eurogroup of finance ministers and de facto chairman of the ESM board, in conjunction with Klaus Regling, managing director of the ESM.

Dijsselbloem insisted Tumpel-Gugerell had the right credentials to ensure a properly independent assessment. He said she would “examine carefully the relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency of financial assistance programmes in supporting financial stability of the euro area and its member states throughout the crisis with the aim of improving the operation of the ESM in the future”.

Regling said Tumpel-Gugerell’s appointment would “ensure the independence, credibility, and impartiality of the evaluation process”.

A report will be prepared and submitted to the ESM board before its annual meeting next June, suggesting improvements to the crisis management strategy in the euro area and programmes.

Tumpel-Gugerell was on the ECB executive board from 2003 to 2011. She was responsible for market operations, payment systems and market infrastructure as well as human resources, the budget, and organisation. (Reporting by Christopher Spink)