NZ Treasury boss to head Irish central bank

Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf has been appointed governor of Ireland's central bank.

A former top British civil servant, Makhlouf has been the Secretary of the Treasury since 2011, after serving in the British civil service, including as private secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

His was a surprise appointment and he did not feature in media speculation. He is the first non-Irish national to head the bank.

Ireland's finance minister Pascal Donohue said Makhlouf had "international calibre" and "wealth of experience".

"Gabriel has demonstrated his broad and detailed knowledge of economics, financial markets, monetary policy, and fiscal policy, and has the experience of leading a large and complex public service organisation of 10,000 people," he said.

The Irish economy is one of the best performing in the European Union but faces pressures from overheating and disruptions caused by Brexit.

Makhlouf will sit on the European Central Bank, which sets interest rates and monetary policy for the EU.

He starts a seven year term in September.

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