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Paul Valery
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Portugal’s finance minister becomes the new president of Eurogroup

Mario Centeno/youtube.com.

On Monday, 4 December, Portugal’s Finance Minister Mario Centeno was elected as the new president of Eurogroup. Latvian Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola decided to withdraw her candidacy after the first vote.

Three other finance ministers competed for this post – Reizniece-Ozola from Latvia, Pierre Gramegna from Luxembourg and Peter Kažimír from Slovakia.

Without withdrawing candidacy for the post of president of Eurogroup, it would have been hard to come to a decision, said Reizniece-Ozola about her decision.

There were four finance ministers competing with one another for this post in the first stage – Reizniece-Ozola, Pierre Gramegna, Peter Kažimír, and Mario Centeno. The president was picked in a closed vote, with each minister voting for one candidate. The first stage of the vote resulted in nothing.

Although the official score of the votes is unknown, it is unofficially known that both Reizniece-Ozola and her Slovakian colleague got an equal number of votes.

After the first stage of votes Reizniece-Ozola decided to withdraw her candidacy for the aforementioned post. «I decided to pull out so that another candidate would get the necessary number of votes,» said the minister.

Reizniece-Ozola said the vote for the president of Eurogroup shows that Latvia has to work more actively to get noticed. ‘I think I demonstrated myself as a capable candidate,’ she added.

When asked if the minister has plans to become a candidate for a different political post, Reizniece-Ozola said this was her first attempt to start internationally. She added that she has no plans for any new international challenges.

«The post of president of Eurogroup does not require one to leave Latvia and their existing post. I also want to complete the tasks I have started,» admits Reizniece-Ozola.

Mario Centeno, 50, has two Masters: one in applied mathematics by Lisbon Technical University and the other – in economics by Harvard University. He previously worked in Portugal’s Central Bank. He also served as a member of the European Commission’s Economic Policy Committee from 2004 to 2013.


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