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Poland’s ruling party wants central bank chief to head EBRD

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Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party wants central bank chief Marek Belka to move on at the end of his term and stand as the new president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Puls Biznesu newspaper said on Tuesday.

The conservative party declined to comment and Belka, who was Poland’s prime minister in the leftists’ government in 2004-2005, was not immediately available to react to the report, which the paper cited to unnamed sources.

Parliament, which is controlled by the Law and Justice (PiS), and Poland’s president, a PiS ally, have already replaced almost all of the central bank’s 10-strong Monetary Policy Council since the beginning of this year.

The European Union has accused the nationalist-minded party of trying to increase controls on key national institutions, a criticism that was echoed in Standard and Poor’s (S&P) unexpectedly cut to Poland’s credit rating last month.

Belka has not publicly said whether he wants to stay on in the job or move on when his current term at the central bank comes to an end in June.

The paper said he had expressed an interest in the EBRD job, again without giving any more details or sources. The end of Belka’s term at the central bank would coincide with the with the end of the tenure of current EBRD president Suma Chakrabarti.

“In Poland we have only one person around whom we can build domestic and international support – Marek Belka,” the daily quoted a government source as saying.

The paper said PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, prime minister Beata Szydlo, deputy prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki and finance minister Pawel Szalamacha had all signaled their would back Belka’s candidacy.

There was no immediate comment from the central bank, which Belka has led since 2010.

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