March 20, 2017 / 2:27 PM / 10 months ago

Eurogroup head: for finmins to decide on reminder of mandate

BRUSSELS, March 20 (Reuters) - Euro zone finance ministers will discuss over the coming months whether Jeroen Dijsselbloem can complete his term as their chairman if he loses his job as Dutch finance minister following elections there.

Dijsselbloem, whose term runs until January, is highly regarded by the other 18 euro zone finance ministers and by the European Union institutions, but his socialist party suffered heavy losses in parliamentary elections in the Netherlands last week.

It is therefore unclear if Dijsselbloem will remain in the government of liberal Mark Rutte after negotiations on a new coalition.

“My mandate runs until January. The formation of a new coalition government in the Netherlands may take some months. Whether there is a gap between the arrival of a new minister and the end of my mandate is too early to say,” Dijsselbloem said.

“If there is a gap in time between those two is up to the Eurogroup to decide how they want to proceed,” he told reporters on entering a meeting of euro zone ministers. (Reporting By Francesco Guarascio, writing by Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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