The day has come for the 19 finance ministers of the eurozone to decide their pick for the next Eurogroup president in a secret ballot in Brussels afternoon session.
The four candidates in the running to be the next president after Jeroen Dijsselbloem is set to leave his influential position after this day’s meeting, are getting ready for afternoon’s procedure that is designed to run in 2-3 rounds.
Eurozone’s favorite for the position is the Portuguese candidate Mario Centeno. Portugal’s minister talked to reporters before entering ‘Europa’ building, the futuristic home of the European Council. “It is democracy at work and we are proud to be part of it,” said Centeno, suggesting that his candidacy represents both a “challenging agenda” and the ability “to achieve consensus to be able to reach across the aisle.” According to the Portuguese minister, it is more important to show the Eurozone’s strength to complete the institutions, rather than when each minister comes from. “Coming from South or North, it doesn’t matter.”
Luxembourg’s Pierre Gramegna, the second name that is mostly considered to be a finalist at today’s vote, acknowledge the role that political parties play in such votes, but underlined that what plays the most important role about him and his candidacy is his experience at this position of the finance minister, adding that he was “reasonably optimistic”.. However, “it’s too early to have an outlook”, said the centrist politician.
Slovakia’s Peter Kazimir and Latvia’s Dana Reizniece-Ozola are the other two contenders, with Kazmir’s social-democrat political identity making him more likely to pass to the second round, as all the political positions that are currently held by the central-right European People’s Part politicians, makes it more likely for a non- EPP member to be voted by the 19 finance minsters.