March 8, 2018 / 2:03 PM / 3 months ago

ECB will ask ECJ to clarify Latvian member's situation -Draghi

    FRANKFURT, March 8 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank
will ask the EU's highest court to clarify whether security
measures against Latvia's central bank governor have the effect
of removing him from office, ECB President Mario Draghi told a
news conference on Thursday.
    Latvia's central bank chief Ilmars Rimsevics, an ECB
Governing Council member, was detained last month over
allegations that he solicited a bribe, an embarrassment for one
of the euro zone's newest members.
    While Rimsevics, who has not been formally charged and
denies all accusations, is barred from acting as Latvia's
central bank chief, he returned to work last week as an ECB
policymaker, defying calls by government officials for him to
quit.             
    Draghi said the Governing Council had unanimously decided to
ask the European Court of Justice "for clarification ... whether
individual security measures imposed on the governor of Latvia's
bank by the Latvian anti-corruption authorities ... have had the
effect of relieving him from office and if these measures comply
with (EU) law." 
    Rimsevics's return to work put the ECB in an awkward
position as he maintained access to confidential information,
while Latvian authorities provided the euro zone's central bank
with little information about his case.
    The Bank of Latvia was represented by Deputy Governor Zoja
Razmusa at Thursday's meeting as Rimsevics is barred from
leaving Latvia.

 (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi
writing by Catherine Evans ; editing by John Stonestreet)
  
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