Belgium’s central bank could start 2024 without governor

The National Bank of Belgium will likely have no president at the beginning of 2024. The mandate of governor Pierre Wunsch is due to be renewed but the federal government has not yet done so because of political problems. With elections in six months, the parties in the coalition are not ready to make compromises.

Last Friday, the De Croo government had a very full agenda for what should have been the last cabinet meeting of the year. In itself, the new mandate for Wunsch is not controversial, but the decision is linked to other nominations for several high-level jobs in the federal administration. There are also unrelated topics where the parties disagree.

As a result, several files are still awaiting decisions. The remaining points on the agenda will be dscussed in a digital meeting later this week. It is unlikely that this meeting will resolve the issue of the governor.

Decision-making in the seven-party coalition has never been easy, but with election fever already running high, it has now become near impossible. The implications of having no competent governor are as yet unclear.

The National Bank says such a situation has never occurred before. "We are now looking at the legal implications for the National Bank, for our role in the euro system and for our international obligations," spokesperson Geert Sciot told De Tijd. Deputy governor Steven Vanackere is expected to fill the role in the interim.



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