STORY HIGHLIGHTS


Eurogroup picks New Leader

CNC
Added On December 6, 2017

Portugal's Finance Minister Mario Centeno has won the race to be the next voice of the Eurogroup.
 
The Harvard-educated 50-year-old economist secured the post as Eurogroup President after two rounds of voting.
 
He will now take over from the former Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem on January 13, 2018 for 2.5 years.
 
SOUNDBITE (English): MARIO CENTENO, Newly elected Eurogroup President
"It's an honor because of the relevance of this group, of the quality of all my colleagues, of the importance of the job that we have to carry over the next couple of years."
 
Centeno has been described by former German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble as the "Ronaldo of the Eurogroup", in reference to the Portuguese football superstar, after his country recovered from being a bailout recipient to meet EU budget targets.
 
Centeno has served as Portugal's finance minister since November 2015. Before that he held roles at the Portuguese statistics office and the country's central bank. 
 
The Eurogroup's first president - and current president of the European Commission - Jean-Claude Juncker congratulated Centeno in a letter.
 
He said Centeno was "taking up this role at a crucial time for the future of the euro area." 
 
With the eurozone expected to grow at its fastest pace in a decade this year, European governments and the commission are debating whether and how the bloc should be reformed. 
 
EU leaders are set to discuss different proposals at a summit next week, and the commission is expected to present its own proposal on Wednesday.