Lagarde thanks EU leaders after ECB confirmation

Lagarde thanks EU leaders after ECB confirmation

Incoming European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde tweeted her “sincere thanks” to EU leaders Friday after the European Council made official her appointment as next president of the Frankfurt institution.

“My sincere thanks to European leaders,” Lagarde wrote, adding she was “looking forward to working with the ECB’s talented staff to keep euro area prices stable and banks safe”.

European heads of government gathered in Brussels had earlier confirmed the former International Monetary Fund chief, 63, will take over from departing ECB president Mario Draghi on November 1.

“Today, the European Council appointed Christine Lagarde to be the President of the European Central Bank for a non-renewable term of eight years,” the leaders said in a statement, noting both the ECB and the European Parliament had backed her.

Draghi leaves Lagarde, a former French finance minister and a successful corporate lawyer, with a tough task ahead in steering the single currency bloc.

Divisions have erupted on its governing council over the ECB’s September move to lower a key interest rate and relaunch “quantitative easing” (QE) mass bond purchases.

Opponents say the economic outlook is not gloomy enough to justify such moves.

But Draghi and his backers believe they are necessary to restore inflation to the ECB goal of just below two percent.