Portugal’s Finance Minister, Mário Centeno was elected by his peers, on the 4th of December, as the next president of the Eurogroup. “The Eurogroup is an informal body where ministers of euro area member states discuss matters of common concern in relation to sharing the euro as the single currency”. The newly elected president will take office in January.

The so-called “Cristiano Ronaldo of ECOFIN”, is a man of 50, graduated from Harvard, leading the Portuguese economy for the past two years. Under his mandate as Portugal’s Finance Minister, the Portuguese’s GDP increased by 2.6 percent this year, compared to the 0.9 percent in 2014. At the same time, the budget deficit of the country decreased by 1.4 percent this year. In May, for the first time since 2009, the European Commission removed Portugal from its excessive deficit blacklist. This man of experience will have to deal with two main priorities during the following months. The first one is to strengthen the European Stability Mechanism and second to conclude the third Greek bail-out programme next summer.

The nominate was congratulate by Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic Affairs, as he said to the press how happy he was with this result, declaring the new President has his “fully support”. Also, Spain’s Economic Affairs, Minister Luis de Guindos, described the Portuguese minister as a “good economist, who knows well the challenges of the eurozone”. With this approval, Mr. Centeno declared during a press conference: “it is an honour due to the relevance of the group, the quality of my colleagues, and the job we have to carry out over the next years”.

Jean-Hugue Baraër

 

For Further information:

Euractiv. Portugal scores again, landing Eurogroup presidency. https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/portugal-scores-again-landing-eurogroup-presidency/

European Council. Mário Centeno to become next Eurogroup President. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/12/04/mario-centeno-to-become-next-eurogroup-president/

Politico EU. Eurogroup’s next leader will be Portugal’s Mário Centeno. https://www.politico.eu/article/eurogroups-next-leader-will-be-portugals-mario-centeno/

Politico EU. How Eurogroups’s “Christiano Ronaldo” got to captain of the team. https://www.politico.eu/article/mario-centeno-how-eurogroups-cristiano-ronaldo-got-to-captain-the-team/