Resignation Deals a Blow to ECB

Exiting chief economist Stark opposed bank’s purchases of Italian, Spanish bonds

Juergen Stark resigned from the European Central Bank’s Executive Board after protesting the bank’s bond purchases on a conference call earlier this week, said a euro-area central bank official familiar with the meeting.

During the Sept. 4 call, Stark, 63, expressed his strong opposition to the program, which was expanded last month when the ECB started buying Italian and Spanish bonds, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions are confidential. Stark was supported by the central banks of Austria and the Netherlands, the person said. The resignation of Stark, the ECB’s chief economist, is a blow to the bank, the official said, noting he is the second German ECB member after Axel Weber to leave over the bond program.

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