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The world’s longest-serving central bank chief will get a new term in Romania

(Bloomberg) — Romania’s Mugur Isarescu, the world’s longest-serving central bank governor, is on the verge of being confirmed for a new five-year term as lawmakers seek a vote on the extension in late June.

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Isarescu took over the leadership of the National Bank of Romania in 1990, less than a year after the collapse of Nicolae Ceausescu’s communist regime, and served for more than three decades, with the exception of a yearlong stint as prime minister in 1999 and 2000.

The 74-year-old has the support of parliament’s major parties to stay in office for another term, according to people familiar with the discussion who asked not to be identified because the deliberations were not public. The vote on Romania’s nine-member tariff panel will take place after local and European Parliament elections on June 9, they said.

Isarescu stopped short of confirming his candidacy for an eighth term earlier this month, although he said he would accept an invitation if parliament supported him. The governor is struggling with the highest inflation in the European Union. He has pushed back on expectations of rapid interest rate cuts and urged the government to rein in a projected budget deficit of 5% of economic output this year.

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Policymakers in Bucharest unexpectedly kept interest rates at 7% on May 13, defying expectations of most economists surveyed for a 25 basis point cut.

As part of the parliamentary vote on the panel, Deputy Governor Leonardo Badea is likely to take over the role of first deputy from Florin Georgescu, who will remain on the board, according to people familiar. Ionut Dumitru, former chief economist of Raiffeisen Bank and former head of the Budget Council, has the support for a post of deputy governor, replacing Eugen Nicolaescu, they said.

The terms of some of the existing board members, such as Cristian Popa and Csaba Balint, are also likely to be extended, while presidential adviser Cosmin Marinescu may also join the team, the people said.

A central bank spokesman declined to comment.

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