Anger Over ECB Hiring Practices

Employees at the European Central Bank are furious at the fact that the top job at the bank’s Brussels office was never advertised, leading to claims of favoritism. It’s not the first time the ECB has faced such accusations. Do you have a master’s degree in economics, work experience with a central bank and excellent English skills? Maybe you would be the right person to lead the office of the European Central Bank in Brussels.

There’s just one problem: The job opening was never advertised. It’s already been given to ECB consultant Stéphane Rottier, “by direct appointment.”

The decision has drawn a sharp rebuke from the bank’s employees: “This is perceived as yet another striking example of favoritism,” according to a letter from the ECB staff committee to the executive board of the central bank, a copy of which Handelsblatt has seen.

Because Mr. Rottier is an advisor and close confidant of ECB executive board member Peter Praet, the central bank’s chief economist, the ECB is suspected of having awarded the job based on relationships and not on qualifications.

The central bank, a public institution, denies the allegations. Working for a board member has no bearing on whether a candidate should be considered for a position, the bank said, adding that appointments are based on ability and performance.

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