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4 countries to battle it out for bailout fund top job

Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Portugal submitted candidates for the job of managing director of the European Stability Mechanism, the EU’s bailout fund, at the close of a deadline Monday.

The candidacies track what POLITICO reported last week. Whoever wins, it would mark the first time that a new candidate is appointed to the role. The current ESM chief, Klaus Regling, will step down in October after two five-years terms.

Rome’s candidate is Marco Buti, head of cabinet of Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni and former head of the Commission’s economic policy arm. The Netherlands has fielded Menno Snel, a former Dutch deputy finance minister who resigned in 2019 over a scandal involving the mishandling of child benefits. Portugal went with its former finance minister, João Leão, as did Luxembourg, with Pierre Gramegna.

The countries have until May 23 to build support for their candidates, ahead of a meeting of eurozone finance ministers that day, when a decision is on the agenda. The goal is to arrive to a candidate by consensus and confirm the decision at another meeting in June.

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