Germany says Dutch minister good candidate for eurogroup chief

21st December 2012, Comments 0 comments

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Friday he considered his Dutch counterpart Jeroen Dijsselbloem as a good possible candidate to take over as head of the Eurogroup of finance ministers.

"There's a lot to be said for a finance minister from a small country taking over," Schaeuble told the German news agency DPA in an interview.

"That could help finding a common line between different points of view," Schaeuble said, when asked who should succeed Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker as head of the influential Eurogroup.

"From that point of view, the Dutch colleague is certainly very suitable. Apart from that, he's highly competent and very respected," the German minister added.

Juncker is scheduled to step down as chair of the Eurogroup next month.

Schaeuble himself had previously been seen as a possible candidate but has since abandoned such ambitions.

His French counterpart Pierre Moscovici also makes no secret of his interest for the job, even if has never officially put himself forward as a candidate.

Schaeuble said the 17-country euro area has made big progress over the past 12 months.

"We've made progress in a difficult period. And we've done so in all member states," Schaeuble said, pointing out that Ireland and Portugal were getting increasing access to the financial markets.

"Since the elections in June, the government in Greece has for the first time seriously implemented reforms, brought down its deficit and sharply reduced wage costs," Schaeuble said.

© 2012 AFP

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