Austria Fekter: Eurogroup Leader Should Be A Head Of Government.
The successor to Jean-Claude Juncker, president of euro-zone finance ministers, will have to be a head of government with experience as a finance minister, Austria’s Finance Minister Maria Fekter told journalists Monday night.
She said it was important that the successor to the so-called Eurogroup “not be a finance minister that as head of Eurogroup could possibly be overruled by his head of government.”
Juncker’s term as president of the Eurogroup ends in July 2012.
“Secondly, he should be a head of government that is financially competent. And thirdly, he should come from a country that doesn’t have an [aid] program at the moment, but instead is so stable and well positioned that an enormous credibility is connected with his position. And the heads of government will have to wrack their brains to find whoever best fulfills these attributes,” said Fekter, adding that there are triple-A countries which haven’t been downgraded by a rating agency, such as Austria has been.
There are three remaining triple-A countries in the euro zone: Germany, the Netherlands and Finland. There is only one country whose head of government also has experience as a finance minister: Finland. The current Prime Minister is Jyrki Katainen, who was Finland’s finance minister before becoming Prime Minister in June 2011.
However, Fekter said decisions about successors for existing positions and new appointees for new positions, whether for Eurogroup President, head of the European Stability Mechanism, or European Central Bank Board Member, would be decided as a package so that “no region is over represented, no one country over represented, [that there is] a balance between big and small.”