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SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain Aug 25 Germany
will back Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos as the next
head of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, replacing
the Dutch finance minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Chancellor
Angela Merkel said on Monday.
Merkel's support for De Guindos came before talks this
Saturday among EU leaders, who are expected to discuss
nominations for several top European Commission posts among
other issues. Dijsselbloem's term does not end until mid-2015,
but his replacement may come up this weekend.
Merkel gave her support at a joint news conference with
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in the northern Spanish
city of Santiago de Compostela, at the end of a two-day visit.
"Luis de Guindos has been an excellent economy minister in
difficult times," Merkel said, adding Germany would back his
candidacy once the term of the current president was up.
De Guindos has served as Economy Ministry in the
centre-right government of Rajoy since it took power in 2012 -
the year Spain found itself at the heart of a growing eurozone
He had to steer through deep spending cuts as Spain tried to
rein in its gaping deficit. He also oversaw a 41.3-billion-euro
(54.5 billion US dollar) European bailout of the country's
(Reporting by Reuters TV in Spain; Writing by Sarah White;
Editing by Larry King)