February 5, 2019 / 8:18 AM / 9 months ago

Italy coalition agrees EU Minister Savona should be Consob chief -sources

FILE PHOTO: European Affairs Minister Paolo Savona at the Quirinal palace in Rome, Italy, June 1, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile -/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s coalition parties, the League and 5-Star Movement, have agreed that euro-sceptic EU Affairs Minister Paolo Savona should be the next head of Consob, the country’s market watchdog, League sources said on Tuesday.

The nomination still must be ratified by Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who last year refused to let Savona become economy minister, fearing his anti-euro views could undermine Italy’s international standing and upset financial markets.

However, a source in the president’s office said Mattarella had no objection to Savona, 82, taking the Consob post.

The top Consob job has been vacant since last September when the then-president, Mario Nava, resigned under pressure from the League and 5-Star because of his continued ties to the European Commission, where he had previously worked.

However, the two coalition parties have struggled to find a compromise candidate and Mattarella last week shot down a proposal that economist Marcello Minenna should take the post.

Newspapers have reported that Minenna, who is seen as close to 5-Star, is likely to become Consob secretary general.

If Savona gets the job, there was no immediate indication of who might replace him as EU affairs minister. A political source said Savona was frustrated by the position because it had only a limited budget and little effective power.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte and Massimiliano Di Giorgio; writing by Crispian Balmer; editing by Larry King

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