Germany wants its deputy fin min to join ECB

By the Associated Press | September 10, 2011 | 8:40 AM EDT

FILE - In this March 16, 2010 file photo European Central Bank executive board member Juergen Stark addresses the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament, at the European Parliament in Brussels. The European Central Bank said Friday Sept. 9, 2011 that top official Juergen Stark is resigning "for personal reasons" almost three years before the end of his eight-year term. Stark sits on the six-member executive council that runs the eurozone's top monetary authority day to day. He is responsible for economics, which means he is often described as the bank's chief economist. Stark, 63, is a former official with Germany's Bundesbank and is regarded as a hawk - an advocate of higher interest rates and less expansionary monetary policy. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe, File)

MARSEILLE, France (AP) — Germany's finance minister said Saturday he wants his long-serving deputy to succeed Juergen Stark on the executive board of the European Central Bank.

Wolfgang Schaeuble said he told the head of the Eurogroup that he wanted Joerg Asmussen to succeed Stark. He added that he expects Asmussen to join the ECB by the end of the year.

Asmussen, a member of the opposition Socialist party, has been a key official in the eurozone's fight against the debt crisis.

Stark unexpectedly resigned from the ECB's executive board Friday in a move that analysts say was triggered by disagreement over the bank's bond purchases.

Asmussen's appointment still needs to be signed off by all other eurozone finance ministers.

Asmussen declined to comment on whether he supports or opposes the ECB's bond purchases. However, like the current Bundesbank president, he studied under former Bundesbank president Axel Weber — both forceful opponents of the controversial program.