Decision day in the race for Eurogroup presidency

Decision day in the race for Eurogroup presidency
By Efi Koutsokosta
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Whoever wins the post will is taking over at a time of economic turmoil, as fresh economic forecasts show an even deeper recession than anticipated.


Spain's Nadia Calviño, Luxembourg's Pierre Gramegna, and Ireland's Pascal Donohoe are the three Eurozone Finance Ministers in the running for the Presidency of Eurogroup for the next two and half years.

The candidate to become President needs at least 10 out of 19 votes in a secret ballot. If no one gets the majority then the third is expected to withdraw from the race, clearing the way for the two finalists and the final vote.

Whoever wins the post will is taking over at a time of economic turmoil but a bigger issue could be the stability of the banks, according to Guntram Wolff, Director of Bruegel (think-tank in Brussels).

"What he or she could face is certainly a new problem in the Eurozone and the new problem that could emerge could be in particular, problems in the banking system. If we were to see a systemic banking crisis in the next year the Eurogroup would have to play a super important role in actually resolving that banking crisis and in resolving it without recalls to national taxpayers money."

However, the debate about the Recovery Fund and the EU budget post-COVID will be the first crash test.

Irish candidate, Paschal Donohoe, told Euronews that respect for the rule of law could be a condition for receiving EU funds, and sounded a warning.

"If we don't intervene in 2020 and early 2021 I fear this is an economic crisis that could get even deeper."

Nadia Calviño, a member of the Socialist-led government of Spain is considered to be the frontrunner, as she has the support of Germany, but also from governments from the EPP political family, such as Greece.

But discussions are still ongoing and often in Europe outsiders are the ones to cross the finish line.

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