BBVA official named as head of new budget watchdog

José Luis Escrivá Belmonte will have an initial three-year mandate as director of the Independent Fiscal Authority

The head of the Independent Fiscal Authority, José Luis Escrivá.
The head of the Independent Fiscal Authority, José Luis Escrivá.

The Cabinet on Friday named the director of BBVA’s research department, José Luis Escrivá Belmonte, as the head of the new Independent Fiscal Authority, which has been set up to oversee the finances of Spain’s public administrations.

Escrivá will have a three-year mandate, extendable up to a maximum of six years.

At a news conference after the Cabinet meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría highlighted the prestige and experience of Escrivá, who has worked for a number of different international organizations, including the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations. Escrivá, who has a doctorate in economics, was also head of the monetary policy division of the European Central Bank.

The Independent Fiscal Authority was set up as part of the conditions imposed on Spain in exchange for a 41-billion-euro loan from its European partners to clean up its banking sector.

The new body will operate under the auspices of the Finance Ministry with a similar institutional framework to National Statistics Institute (INE) to ensure its independence.

The appointment of the head of the institution will be subject to the approval of parliament and his mandate will not end in the vent of a new administration taking power during his term of office.

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