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"We had a brief exchange of views in the Eurogroup, and I am glad to report that it was a unanimous decision.I would like to congratulate Luis, " said Centeno in a news conference after a regular meeting of the eurozone finance ministers. ECB Chief Economist Peter Praet's mandate runs until May 31, 2019, while ECB President Mario Draghi is due to leave office on October 31, 2019.

Central Bank Governor Philip Lane has been withdrawn from the race to become vice president of the European Central Bank.

"I, myself, have been a very political finance minister and I can be a very political Commissioner in a political Commission", he added, saying he backed de Guidos' selection.

De Guindos is a politician's politician - at turns charming and outspoken, while also a dispenser of bon mots at global gatherings.

Other consider that De Guindos' appointment to the European Central Bank executive board would create a precedent, and weaken's the body's independence towards eurozone governments.

Paschal Donohoe, minister for finance of Ireland, told reporters in Brussels on Monday that it is important that there's a consensus in the Eurogroup on the appointment for European Central Bank vice president.

In that context, I have decided that, on balance, it would be in the interests of the Euro-area as a whole to withdraw Philip's candidacy in advance of any vote.

After listening to both candidates, MEPs from the economic and monetary affairs committee (Econ) found that Lane's performance was "more convincing".

Ireland has never held a post in the European Central Bank at all, but Lane is widely seen as a top candidate to become European Central Bank chief economist when Peter Praet leaves his position next year, eurozone officials said.

The choice by the single currency bloc's finance ministers was widely expected and came despite the reticence of European lawmakers to see a politician take over as number two at the ECB. "Lane would be well placed as chief economist, but Weidmann depends on the distribution of the big jobs in 2019".

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