Dijsselbloem rejects call for permanent Eurogroup head

31st May 2013, Comments 0 comments

Dutch Finance Minister Jereon Dijsselbloem rejected on Friday a call by France and Germany for his other job overseeing eurozone economic policy to be made full-time, Dutch media reported.

French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that they wanted a full-time president of the Eurogroup, which groups finance ministers in the crisis-hit 17-member currency bloc.

"Minister Dijsselbloem is not in favour of a permanent chairman of the Eurogroup," state broadcaster NOS reported, citing Dijsselbloem who is on a visit to Greece.

"Dijsselbloem also does not want to be permanent chairman," NOS reported on its website.

Dijsselbloem plans on holding the unofficial job of Eurogroup head for another year-and-a-half, after which he would opt for keeping his ministerial job if he had to choose.

Asked to confirm the report, Dijsselbloem's spokeswoman Simone Boitelle told AFP: "This is not currently on the agenda. The Dutch government is not an advocate of creating another institution."

Hollande said alongside Merkel on Thursday that "we agree that there be more eurozone summits with a full-time president of the Eurogroup."

The proposed new president "could be mandated by eurozone ministers to support action for jobs, research and industry," Hollande added.

The Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers has taken on much increased importance during the eurozone debt crisis, being a key forum for thrashing out solutions and contributing to new policies. Dijsselbloem has been in the job since January.

The group meets every month.

© 2013 AFP

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