December 4, 2017 / 4:07 PM / 14 days ago

Portugal's Centeno chosen as new Eurogroup chairman -officials

BRUSSELS, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Euro zone finance ministers chose on Monday Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno as their next chairman to replace Dutchman Jeroen Dijsselbloem in mid-January, EU officials said.

Centeno, 50, has led Portugal during a strong recovery from the country’s 2011-14 debt crisis and bailout. The country is growing at its fastest pace in at least a decade this year and the budget deficit is set to fall to its lowest in many decades.

Centeno was appointed by Socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa in 2015 and has reversed some austerity measures introduced during the bailout but has held a strong grip on public finances, insisting that EU budget goals must be met. (Reporting By Jan Strupczewski and Francesco Guarascio)

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