Luis María Linde named new Bank of Spain governor

Bank director will replace outgoing head Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez New governor will oversee an expected European bailout for the Spanish banking system

The government on Thursday named Luis María Linde, a former general manager of the Bank of Spain, to replace Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez as governor of the central bank.

Linde was the front runner for the post after last month being named a director of the institution. Other candidates included José Manuel González Páramo, who recently completed his mandate as a member of the European Central bank’s executive committee.

Linde will be 70 years old in 2015, the maximum age allowed for the governor and deputy governor of the Bank of Spain, which means he will not be able to see out a full six-year mandate. That would allow the ruling Popular Party to name another governor to replace him.

Linde will oversee an expected European bailout for the Spanish banking system, which, according to Reuters, the IMF estimates at 40 billion euros.

An economist, Linde was commercial attaché in the Spanish Embassy in Moscow when the Soviet Union was still in existence. He was general manager of the bank's international department between 1987 and 2000. In 2005 he was named executive director for Spain at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington.

Fernández Ordóñez is leaving the central bank on June 12, a month before his term was due to expire. He had come in for heavy criticism because the Bank of Spain’s handling of Bankia, which is being nationalized and needs an additional 19 billion to clean up its balance sheet.

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