News that Portugal’s Finance Minister Màrio Centeno was elected the new president of the Eurogroup was welcomed by S&D Group leader Gianni Pittella.

“This is a victory for the future of Europe and for all of us that fought to get rid of blind austerity,” said Pittella. “The S&D Group welcomes the election of Màrio Centeno as the new president of the Eurogroup. He has succeeded in implementing a credible economic policy in Portugal restoring the health of public finances and bringing back growth. We are confident this will represent a turning point for the future development of the Eurozone and for the whole of Europe.”

Centeno will replace Dutchman Jeroen Dijsselbloem on January 13.

“We are finally overcoming the era of blind and stupid austerity that has left behind even more poor and divided societies across Europe,” said Pittella. “The Eurozone needs policies that promote public and private investment and boost job creation. We also need to reform the euro area. We need to make its functioning more transparent and democratic.  The Eurozone must also become more resilient to new crises. These are crucial challenges in front of us. Together, we will overcome.”