French drop hope of replacing Duisenberg

GERMANY - France is apparently abandoning its hopes of replacing Dutch European Central Bank President Wim Duisenberg with a French president in 2002, when half of his eight-year term will be up, reports Der Spiegel.

However, it still wants a French candidate to succeed Duisenberg when his full term expires in 2006 without jeopardising its presence on the bank's governing council - something which will be impossible without breaking the Maastricht Treaty, adds the report.