Banque de France chief to steer comms team at ECBº

FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank (ECB) has appointed Elisabeth Ardaillon-Poirier as director of communications.

Ardaillon-Poirier joined the Frankfurt-based institution this week from her role as executive director of press and communications at the Banque de France.

In joining the ECB, she will accompany her former boss at France’s central bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, who was formally appointed as ECB president on 17 October and who also started work this week.

Ardaillon-Poirier, who has worked at the Banque de France for almost a decade, succeeds Manfred Körber, who has retired after just over five years in the role.

Ardaillon-Poirier will lead a 14-strong comms team that is run on a day-to-day basis by head of press and information Regina Schueller.

Schueller said Ardaillon-Poirier would also be in charge of ECB publications, its website, library and also ‘protocol’ issues and conferences. This would give her around 60 staff within the overall remit.

Trichet has vowed to uphold what he called the legacy of a credible euro left by his Dutch predecessor Wim Duisenberg, who oversaw the single currency’s introduction four years ago.

Trichet’s appointment, made by finance ministers of eurozone countries, was widely expected but his candidacy was marred by legal trouble regarding a banking scandal dating back to the early 1990s, when he was director of the French Treasury.

Trichet was charged with complicity in publication of misleading accounts at Credit Lyonnais a decade ago, when he was head of the state treasury. Trichet was cleared of any wrongdoing in June.

The ECB, and Duisenberg in particular, have come under criticism for failing to take swift action to boost the Eurozone’s sluggish economy. The ECB sets interest rates across the 12-nation eurozone.

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