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Panel discusses National Bank appointment

A 10-member advisory panel met on Monday in Berne to discuss who should become the next president of Switzerland's National Bank. The incumbent, Hans Meyer, is due to step down at the end of the year.

There is speculation that the panel could break with protocol by proposing the current number three, Christian Democrat Bruno Gehrig, to succeed Hans Meyer when he steps down at the end of the year.

The other main contender is the SNB’s vice chairman, the Radical Jean-Pierre Roth.

The panel will also have to nominate another candidate for the board. The frontrunner for the job is, according to reports, Radical candidate Niklaus Blattner, current director of the Swiss Bankers Association.

It has been suggested that the Christian Democrats and the Radicals have done a deal, leaving the chairman’s job to Gehrig in exchange for the other position for Blattner. The very idea of any kind of deal has however been denied by both parties even if they admit those two candidates will likely be the chosen ones.

Its suggestion is not binding and will not be publicly announced, but it will carry weight when the broader SNB supervisory board considers the question on Friday.

The government will take the final decision on whom to appoint.

The panel meeting brings together representatives from industry and interest groups such as trade unions, farmers, academics and even the Arts Council.

The three-member SNB board is traditionally dominated by two of the four governing Swiss parties: the Christian Democrats and the Radicals.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR