The saga of the delayed appointment to the European Central Bank executive board drags on as Spain has blocked the appointment of Luxembourg Central banker Yves Mersch via a fast-track “written procedure”.

Conservative spokesman for Women’s Rights in the European Parliament Marina Yannakoudakis MEP has condemned the way EU politicians are playing gender politics with Mr. Mersch’s appointment.

Mrs. Yannakoudakis denounced MEPs’ recent decision to block Mr. Mersch’s nomination on the basis of the lack of female representation at the ECB. Now the Spanish decision to delay the appointment means that will be no candidate to help solve the eurozone sovereign-debt crisis until at least December.

She said: “Mr. Mersch has been the victim of discrimination on the basis of his gender. For first the European Parliament and now the Spanish government to veto a qualified candidate is inequitable and imprudent at a time of economic crisis.

“One has to ask oneself whether the names which are being mooted as possible alternatives to Mr. Mersch – Soledad Núñez Ramos and Belén Romana García – are being put forward because they are better candidates or just because they are female candidates.

“If it is for the latter reason, I hope that the European Council will use the weighted-voting method to approve Mr. Mersch’s appointment and put an end to gender politicking over the ECB board once and for all.”