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EU watchdog clears Draghi to keep outside finance seat


An EU watchdog on Monday authorised ECB head Mario Draghi to keep his seat on a global finance body gathering some of the industry's most powerful figures, dismissing a complaint from ethics campaigners.

European Union Ombudsman P. Nikiforos Diamandouros said Draghi's membership of the Group of Thirty "does not undermine ECB independence."

Corporate Europe Observatory argued that the Group of Thirty is a "lobbying vehicle" for promoting private financial interests and called on the ECB to require Draghi to resign.

"After analysing the Group's membership, funding and aims, the Ombudsman found the President’s membership to be compatible with his role," said a press release.

The Group of Thirty gathers central and merchant bankers, politicians and academics. Its chairman is former ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet.

The ECB says the Group of Thirty a forum for exchanging views, but the Ombudsman nonetheless "advised the ECB to improve its transparency by mentioning the President's membership of the Group of Thirty on its website."