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Central bank urgently needs vice-governor

AS THE COUNTRY prepares to join the euro-zone in 2009, the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) is still without a vice-governor responsible for monetary policy. At its session on February 21 the cabinet again failed to discuss potential candidates for the post, which has now been vacant for almost a year.

NBS Governor Ivan Šramko has said that the central bank "intensely feels the absence" of a vice-governor for monetary affairs, and that he uses every occasion he gets to urge the cabinet to name someone to the post as soon as possible.

"But it’s out of my hands. Politicians must first agree among themselves," Šramko said.

At the moment, NBS Bank Board member Peter Ševčovič is in charge of monetary policy at the central bank as a temporary solution to the vacancy.

The central bank has been without a vice-governor for monetary policy since March 27, 2006, when the term of Elena Kohútiková expired.

Finance Minister Ján Počiatek admitted that the cabinet had had sufficient time to propose a new vice-governor. However, despite repeated promises that the government was looking for a suitable replacement for Kohútiková, no action has been taken.

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