Germany's Schaeuble values work of Eurogroup's Dijsselbloem: ministry

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble addresses a news conference at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Baden-Baden, Germany, March 18, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble values the work of Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who is at the center of a row over comments he made about southern European countries, a ministry spokeswoman said.

Dijsselbloem suggested in an interview at the weekend with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that southern European countries that received EU financial aid were spending their money “on booze and women”.

Portugal’s prime minister has demanded his resignation.

Asked it Dijsselbloem was acceptable as Eurogroup chairman, a German Finance Ministry spokeswoman told a regular government news conference on Wednesday: “Mr Schaeuble values very much Mr Dijsselbloem’s work as Eurogroup chairman.”

“We expect, so long as this government is in office, that we will have a fully functioning Eurogroup chair,” she said, adding: “I don’t award marks for style in interviews.”

Reporting by Paul Carrel; Editing by Madeline Chambers