Duisenberg to leave ECB in July 2003

EUROPE - Wim Duisenberg, the Dutch president of the European Central Bank, is to resign next year.

The date chosen - 9 July - is Mr Duisenberg's 68th birthday.

The decision brings to an end months of speculation about how long Mr Duisenberg would stay in the 12-nation eurozone's top economic job.

When the ECB was constituted in 1998, a backroom deal was said to have been struck which would see Mr Duisenberg step down half-way through his eight-year term, to be replaced by the number two

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