December 6, 2018 / 10:58 AM / 6 days ago

Slovenian ECB candidate sees no interest rate change before autumn 2019

LJUBLJANA, Dec 6 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank is not expected to raise interest before autumn of 2019, the Slovenian candidate for the ECB governing council said on Thursday.

“The position of the ECB is that interest rates will remain unchanged at least until the end of summer 2019 while further decisions will depend upon economic conditions,” Bostjan Vasle told a public hearing.

Parliament is expected to elect Vasle later in December to the post of the Bank of Slovenia governor, who also sits on the ECB governing council.

Vasle also said that, although monetary policy was important, it had to be supported by other policies, particularly fiscal policy.

“I support the strengthening of the economic and monetary union and the completion of the banking union ... which would add to the stability of the euro area,” he said.

Slovenia has been without a seat on the ECB governing council since April, when former governor Bostjan Jazbec resigned to take a post on the EU’s Single Resolution Board.

Pahor’s first candidate for the governor’s position, Deputy Governor Primoz Dolenc, was rejected by parliament in October. Several parties argued the central bank had failed to effectively supervise local banks.

However, Pahor and analysts believe Vasle, a former head of the government’s economic institute, UMAR, is likely to get the necessary support of 46 out of 90 parliamentary members, although most parties have not yet declared how they plan to vote. (Reporting By Marja Novak)

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