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ECB Chief Agrees To Stay Until Successor Ready

By Agence France-Presse European Central Bank President Willem (Wim) Duisenberg has agreed to stay on until a successor is ready to take over the top job, Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas said April 18. The spokesman for Athens, which currently holds the rotating European Union presidency, said Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis had formally asked Duisenberg to remain in the post following consultations with other euro-zone governments. "Duisenberg accepted the proposal," Protopapas said. The announcement formalizes an arrangement already approved by EU finance ministers earlier this month. The Dutch ECB chief had planned to retire on July 9, but the legal problems dogging his presumed successor, Bank of France Governor Jean-Claude Trichet, have clouded the transition. Trichet is embroiled in a trial where he stands accused of overlooking misleading financial reports at then state-run bank Credit Lyonnais in the early 1990s, while he was head of the treasury. The verdict in that trial is set to be heard on June 18. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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