Liikanen set to become new Finnish bank chief; Olli Rehn possibly new Commissioner

Enterprise Commissioner Erkki Liikanen was nominated as new governor of the Finnish Central Bank, but the final decision has not yet been taken and more candidates are still in the running.

EU Enterprise Commissioner Erkki Liikanen has been nominated as new governor for the Finnish Central Bank. The Parliamentary Supervisory Council of the Bank of Finland endorsed Liikanen as their main candidate, but the official decision will have to be taken by Finnish President Tarja Halonen. If Liikanen would be chosen, he would have to be replaced as Commissioner in Brussels from 1 July. However, several Finnish politicians have questioned the Commissioner's replacement and have asked him to stay on until the end of his term in October. The final decision is expected on Friday 23 April.

According to Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, Mr Liikanen got the support of the Centre after an agreement was reached that Liikanen’s seat in the Commission would go to Olli Rehn (Centre Party) for the remainder of the present term.

If Mr Liikanen were to leave the Commission, he would be the fourth commissioner to leave the Prodi team, raising speculations about the weakening of the Commission in its last months in office. In the last two months, Greek Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou, Spanish Pedro Solbes and French Commissioner Michel Barnier went back to national politics.


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