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UPDATE 1-Dutch FM will think seriously about euro zone post, if asked - PM
January 11, 2013 / 4:00 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Dutch FM will think seriously about euro zone post, if asked - PM

* Dutch FinMin Dijsselbloem would consider it - Dutch PM

* Netherlands wants Eurogroup chair from strong country-PM

THE HAGUE, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem would seriously consider becoming chairman of euro zone finance ministers if he were asked, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Friday.

Dijsselbloem is the favourite, officials say, to be named to lead the euro zone’s most powerful economic policymaking body when the Eurogroup of finance ministers decide on Jan. 21 who will succeed Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker.

The Netherlands is one of the few remaining euro zone countries which still has a top triple-A credit rating from the major agencies, along with Germany, Finland and Luxembourg.

“As far as the Netherlands is concerned, it would be good if it was a minister from one of the stronger countries. Who it will be is not certain. If the choice falls on Jeroen Dijsselbloem he will certainly seriously think about it,” Rutte told reporters.

Dijsselbloem, 46, was on a tour of European capitals this week, speaking with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, as well as his colleagues from Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy and France. He’ll meet his Spanish counterpart next week.

In a shift from his predecessor Jan Kees de Jager’s hardline stance, Dijsselbloem has shown a more dovish approach towards solving Greece’s debt problems but he has continued to stress the Netherlands’ tough line of fiscal discipline and reforms.

Dijsselbloem, appointed finance minister in November after the Netherlands’ election in September, declined to comment on his candidacy.

“Whoever it is, it’s not going to be easy to become the next Mr. Euro, because Mr. Juncker has done tremendous work over the last seven years for the Eurogroup and the situation around the euro crisis. So that’s an honorary title which belongs to him and not directly to his successor,” Dijsselbloem told reporters in The Hague.

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