October 11, 2012 / 3:33 PM / 8 years ago

EU Parliament leaders to reject Mersch for ECB

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Party leaders in the European Parliament have agreed to reject Luxembourg central banker Yves Mersch’s candidacy for the European Central Bank’s executive board on grounds of gender bias, a statement from one of the leaders said on Thursday.

The statement said a hearing into his candidacy would still go ahead on October 22, but that the outcome was already agreed.

“The hearing should take place on October 22nd but a negative recommendation would be adopted, based on the failure by the Council to respect the demands laid down,” Sylvie Goulard, the head of the Liberal parties in the parliament, said in an emailed statement.

In September, the lawmakers postponed Mersch’s appointment indefinitely by putting off the cross-examination in protest at what they called “systemic” bias against women.

Mersch can still be appointed by euro zone leaders, but the rejection of his candidacy by parliament makes it politically more difficult for that to happen.

Reporting By Claire Davenport

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