Image: File photo of ECB's member of the executive board Juergen Stark
Yiorgos Karahalis  /  Reuters
The European Central Bank said Friday that top official Juergen Stark is resigning.
msnbc.com news services
updated 9/9/2011 11:38:40 AM ET 2011-09-09T15:38:40

The European Central Bank said Friday that top official Juergen Stark is resigning well before the end of his term, removing a key voice for tougher rate policy and raising questions about the bank's course during Europe's debt crisis.

The ECB said that, Stark, 63, is leaving "for personal reasons" almost three years before the end of his eight-year term.

  1. More must-read stories
    1. The Hartford Courant, Political
      Wild Wall St.

      Has the market volatility got you nervous? These cartoons may give you a little comic relief.

    2. Cyber-thieves create fake Kelley Blue Book site
    3. US says Reebok toning shoes don't really
    4. Can you live on $9 an hour? Play the game

According to The Wall Street Journal, Stark left his position due to a disagreement over the bank's bond-purchase program.

Stark is a former official with Germany's Bundesbank and is regarded in central bank jargon as a "hawk" — an advocate of higher interest rates to fight inflation and less expansionary monetary policy.

His departure is the second unexpected personnel change at the ECB this year, after governing council member and Bundesbank head Axel Weber, regarded as front runner to succeed bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, dropped out of the running and did not seek another term.

Instead, Bank of Italy head Mario Draghi was chosen by eurozone leaders to replace Trichet Nov. 1.

It's not clear what Stark's departure would mean for the bank's course until his replacement is clear. As the biggest country in the eurozone, Germany would be in a strong position to demand a German replace him so as to keep at least one seat on the influential body.

Stark sits on the six-member executive board of the ECB, the eurozone's top monetary authority. Responsible for economics and statistics, he is often described as the bank's chief economist.

The ECB said Stark would remain in his job until a successor is appointed by the end of the year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Video: Stark quits

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 4.97%
$30K home equity loan FICO 5.23%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.67%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.28%
13.21%
Cash Back Cards 17.74%
17.70%
Rewards Cards 17.01%
16.96%
Source: Bankrate.com