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Eurogroup won't change policy under Portugal's Centeno: Dijsselbloem
December 7, 2017 / 9:44 AM / 6 days ago

Eurogroup won't change policy under Portugal's Centeno: Dijsselbloem

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno’s chairmanship of euro zone finance ministers will not change the policies of the powerful decision-making body, the outgoing chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem told European Parliament on Thursday.

Mario Centeno, Portugal's Finance Minister and newly elected President of the Eurogroup, holds a news conference at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, December 4, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Asked if the appointment of Centeno, a socialist, meant euro zone finance ministers would end their policy of austerity, Dijsselbloem said:

”I think it is a non-debate. The strategy of the Eurogroup has never been defined by a one-dimensional approach of austerity. So I think that our strategy won’t fundamentally change.

“A large part of the strategy is of course embedded in the Stability and Growth Pact and other agreements between us, part of the strategy is also to sort of the financial sector and get banks back to business,” he said.

“So the change of the chair does not mean that all of a sudden policies will change - they have been embedded in agreements between us and there will still be decisions in the Eurogroup by unanimity,” Dijsselbloem said.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop

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