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.