The main candidates for the vacancy of governor of the Bank of Italy are is now shaping up following the departure of the Antonio Fazio over claims of insider trading and fraud. Mario Draghi, currently vice-president of investment bank Goldman Sachs in London, is the front runner because of his seeming political neutrality and is he favoured by the markets. The other two candidates are Tommaso Padoa Schioppa, a former Italian representative at the European Central Bank, and Vincenzo Desario, the former director general of the Banca dItalia. Padoa Scioppas star seems to be waning after initially shining and Desario is seen as a comprise candidate if the various parties of the ruling centre-right coalition cannot agree on a joint candidate. After initial pronouncements that the new governors appointment would be a bipartisan affair, Italys vice-premier Gianfranco Fini stated unequivocally that he already knows who will get the job, much to the chagrin of opposition leader Roman Prodi, who said he was somewhat dismayed at the remarks. Meanwhile the Italian parliaments upper house has voted through a reform bill that will limit the governors period of office to six years (Fazio held the post for life) and switch some of the Banks supervisory powers to the Italian competition authority.
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