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Published: Monday December 16, 2013 MYT 12:26:02 AM
Updated: Monday December 16, 2013 MYT 12:26:54 AM

Asmussen takes job as deputy Labour Minister in new German govt

European Central Bank (ECB) executive board member Joerg Asmussen leaves a podium after a news conference in Athens August 21, 2013. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

European Central Bank (ECB) executive board member Joerg Asmussen leaves a podium after a news conference in Athens August 21, 2013. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

BERLIN (Reuters) - Joerg Asmussen, a European Central Bank Executive Board member, will leave the ECB to accept a job as deputy Labour Minister in Germany's new "grand coalition" in Berlin, designated Labour Minister Andrea Nahles told Reuters on Sunday.

Asmussen, a member of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), was deputy Finance Minister in Berlin between 2008 and 2011. He has been an ECB Executive Board member since he was appointed by Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2012.

"I'm delighted that Joerg Asmussen will be a state secretary in the Labour Ministry and bring his great executive experience into this key ministry," Nahles told Reuters.

Asmussen, 47, succeeded Juergen Stark at the ECB in 2012. He stepped down in a row over the ECB's bond-buying programme.

"This wasn't an easy decision for me," Asmussen said. "I'll be stepping down soon as a member of the ECB Executive Board. The reasons for this step are purely private, having to do with my family situation."

Asmussen's name has been mentioned in recent months as a possible candidate for Finance Minister if the SPD took control of the ministry that he held in the last "grand coalition" from 2005 to 2009, when Asmussen was a deputy to Peer Steinbrueck.

Asmussen had said he planned to fulfil his contract as an executive board member at the ECB until the end of 2019.

(Additional reporting by Holger Hansen; writing by Erik Kirschbaum; editing by Christian Ruettger)

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