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Kohl Said Vs. Split Euro Bank Term

February 20, 1998

BONN, Germany (AP) _ Chancellor Helmut Kohl reportedly has voiced opposition to splitting the first eight-year term of the president of the proposed European Central Bank.

Der Spiegel newsmagazine reported Kohl is sticking with his stand that European Monetary Institute President Wim Duisenberg serve the full first term as chief of the central bank. It will replace the EMI when the new single currency is launched Jan. 1.

In a compromise with France, some European Union officials have suggested splitting the term between Duisenberg, who is Dutch, and French central banker Jean-Claude Trichet. Most members of the 15-nation EU are backing Duisenberg, but France is insisting on its candidate.

A spokesman for the German government said the government would not comment on the issue of the bank presidency.

Ingo Friedrich, a European parliament member from one of Kohl’s coalition parties, said Duisenberg remained the clear favorite and Kohl’s forces wanted to stick with an eight-year term for him.

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