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Bundesbank: fresh tone, same policy

Friday, April 29, 2011 - 02:14

Apr 29 - With Jens Wiedmann poised to replace Axel Weber as head of Germany's Bundesbank, Reuters correspondent Adrian Murdoch examines what the succession portends for future policy.

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On Monday Axel Weber hands over the reins of power of the Bundesbank. His successor is this man - Jens Weidmann who to much of the world remains a mystery. SOUNDBITE:Thomas Meissner, Head of Fixed Income Market Research, DZ Bank saying: (English): "He is not known. Insiders know him… challenge to establish a new personality" When Weidmann takes over he'll be the youngest ever Bundesbank chief. Even so few expect much change from the 42-year old. SOUNDBITE:Thomas Meissner, Head of Fixed Income Market Research, DZ Bank saying (English): "He used to serve Buba as well. He won't change a lot in the institution, he knows how to deal with the bureaucracy." For many the challenge will be at a European level. A continuation of Weber's inflation-busting approach is expected. Though Weidmann may tread a more diplomatic line than his outspoken predecessor. SOUNDBITE:David Kohl, chief German economist, Julius Baer saying (English): "He will have a diplomatic approach to the ECB council… ongoing challenge to find a role." Perhaps the biggest worry concerns Weidmann's political relationship with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Since 2006 he's been her closest economic advisor and for some that creates a problem of perception. SOUNDBITE: Geoffrey Yu, G10 FX strategist, UBS saying (English):: "He needs to answer the question is he working for the country or the CDU… CDU's will onto the European populace." Politics aside, it seems the theme of Weidmann's presidency is going to be continuity. Adrian Murdoch, Reuters Insider in Frankfurt

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Bundesbank: fresh tone, same policy

Friday, April 29, 2011 - 02:14