Asmussen exits ECB as he joins Merkel coalition

EUROPEAN Central Bank (ECB) board member Joerg Asmussen yesterday accepted a job as deputy labour minister in the new German coalition government, stepping down from his banking role.

Asmussen, who has two young daughters, cited family reasons for the switch.

He will form part of the Social Democrat Party’s wing in Germany’s grand coalition, which was confirmed over the weekend.

Angela Merkel will stay as the country’s Chancellor, but the social democrats will be well represented in other government positions. Sigmar Gabriel, the chairman of the SPD, will take charge of both the energy and economy ministries.

Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) will hold onto the top posts in defence, education and health. Wolfgang Schaeuble will stay on as finance minister.