Eurogroup Considers Dutch Candidate

Maarten van Tartwijk, The Wall Street Journal, 21.01.2013

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A relatively inexperienced Dutch finance minister is expected to clinch one of the most influential jobs in Europe, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Euro-zone finance ministers are expected to name a new chairman as soon as Monday for their body, known as the Eurogroup, which plays a crucial role in the debt crisis. The likely choice, according to EU officials, is Jeroen Dijsselbloem, a 46-year-old agricultural economist from the Netherlands' Labor Party who took up the finance minister post just three months ago.

Other European finance ministers say they have been impressed with Mr. Dijsselbloem's debut on the international stage. But he is said to be something of an unknown quantity, and some European leaders have said they are worried about his inexperience, especially compared with departing Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker, who is also prime minister of one of the smallest member countries, Luxembourg.

"Mr. Juncker was an exceptional case—he was very influential and well-respected throughout the EU," said Janis A. Emmanouilidis, an EU expert at the European Policy Centre, a Brussels-based think tank. "Mr. Dijsselbloem is relatively young, new in office, and doesn't have years of experience." […]

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