Spain’s finance minister to run for European Investment Bank top job

MADRID (Reuters) – The Spanish government has put forward its finance minister, Nadia Calvino, as a candidate to lead the European Union’s lending arm, the European Investment Bank (EIB), a Spanish government official told Reuters on Friday.

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, known for her crackdown and hefty fines meted out to Big Tech for anti-competitive practices, is also running for the post, which has never been held by a woman nor a Spanish national.

The EIB provides billions of euros for multiple projects. Its head Werner Hoyer was reappointed in 2018 for a second term which ends in January.

Candidates have to be validated by Aug. 17. The appointment, which requires the support of a qualified majority of member states, would be agreed at a meeting in mid-September and formally adopted by the EIB board in October.

Calvino has been Spain’s finance minister since 2018 and chairs the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the International Monetary Fund.

She has a “strong track record” and “ample experience in relevant areas for this position such as finance and budgeting, financial regulation, economic policy, digitalisation, macroeconomic analysis and forecasting, competition policy and trade,” the official said in statement.

Before joining the Socialist-led Spanish government, Calvino was a senior manager at the European Commission for 12 years.

Calvino’s candidacy has the “full support” of Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and, if elected, she would remain as minister until the end of the year, the official said.

(Reporting by Joan Faus; Editing by Richard Chang)