Published On: Tue, Dec 5th, 2017

Eurogroup president elected: Portugal finance minister Mário Centeno succeeds Dijsselbloem


He will succeed current President Jeroen Dijsselbloem in January when the Dutchman’s mandate ends. 

Mr Dijsselboem’s Labour Party did not do well in the Dutch elections this year and is no longer part of the Dutch coalition government.

The Eurogroup is a group of 19 finance ministers, who meet once a month to talk about major economic and monetary polices that are implemented across the bloc. 

He beat Luxembourg’s Pierre Gramegna, Slovakia’s Peter Kazimir and Latvia’s Dana Reizniece-Ozola to obtain the position. 

Two main tasks await Mr Centeno, Greece is coming up to the end of its €86billion bailout program next summer. The new president will be held responsible for making sure the exit turns out as planned.

He also needs to keep the International Monetary Fund happy in regards to debt relief.

Mr Centeno will have to deal with developing a common strategy for the future reform of the eurozone’s governance – including remodelling the EU’s bailout arm and possibly creating a new budget. 

The Portuguese finance minister was appointed during a secret ballot at a finance ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday. 

Ahead of the vote, Mr Centeno told reporters that his presidency would focus on generating a political consensus between the eurozone’s political and geographic families and aim to “reach across the aisle”.

Mr Centeno added he wishes to keep the Eurogroup “together and united”.

He said: “It’s the only way we take decisions in the Eurogroup.”

The 50-year-old finance minister is the first from a southern eurozone economy to be elected to this position – which holds a two-and-a-half year term. 

The term of the Eurogroup’s presidency is two and a half years.



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