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Portugal’s Centeno emerges as favourite for Eurogroup president

Page created: Thursday, 30 November 2017 10:02 GMT

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Eurogroup  Mario Centeno  Portugal

Portuguese finance minister Mário Centeno has emerged as favourite to become president of the Eurogroup after EU leaders backed the Harvard-trained economist for the influential post. Heads of state from Italy, Portugal, France and Germany met at the sidelines of an EU summit in the Ivory Coast last night, where they talked over prospective candidates for the job to head up the forum of eurozone finance ministers. According to diplomats familiar with the talks, Mr Centeno’s candidacy was favoured over that of Italy’s Pier Carlo Padoan – the other main centre-left minister in the race. Mr Padoan’s chances were hampered by his country’s upcoming Spring elections where he risks losing his position in the caretaker government. Eurozone finance ministers have until noon today to submit their applications for the job which involves chairing regular meetings of the single currency area’s finance chiefs. An official list of the candidates will be published on Friday, with the 19 ministers then holding a secret ballot vote to decide on the replacement for Jeroen Dijsselbloem on Monday.v