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Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovakia bid for Eurogroup chair

Resources ministers Dana Reizniece-Ozola of Latvia, Pierre Gramegna of Luxembourg, Mario Centeno of Portugal, and Peter Kazimir of Slovakia all submitted formal appeals for the job on Thursday, officials told Reuters.

The decision is expected to be taken on Monday.

The in vogue Eurogroup chairman, Dutchman Dijsselbloem will step down on Jan 13 after two qualifications since 2012. He is no longer a finance minister after Dutch inhabitant elections earlier this year.

European socialists, of which Dijsselbloem is one, deliver been calling for the job to remain with a socialist because the European centre-right already has tons of the top EU jobs, such as European Commission president.

Centeno is a socialist and has the support of Italy, whose own finance minister Pier-Carlo Padoan also longing the job, but dropped out because it is not certain he will stay in government after Italian polls due by May 2018.

The Harvard-educated economist has led Portugal during a strong recovery from the power’s 2011-14 debt crisis and bailout. The country is growing at its fastest step in at least a decade and the budget deficit is set to fall to its lowest in many decades.

In May, past German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble dubbed Centeno the “Ronaldo of EU money ministers” — a reference to the Portuguese soccer star — as Portugal was about to vent the EU’s disciplinary procedure for running excessive deficits.

Some in the Eurogroup say, respect, say a minister from a country that had to be bailed out because of past principles mistakes would have smaller chance of getting the job. Many also say that Centeno has not bestowed much to Eurogroup discussions in the past.

Slovakia’s Kazimir, also a socialist, has run a austere fiscal ship at home and has been hawkish on bailouts for Greece. Some officials say that to each socialist candidates he would have the backing of Germany and the Netherlands.

Critics of his candidacy, no matter how, say that he has not taken the opportunity of Slovakia’s European Union presidency to ride herd on hint at his economic agenda harder and show leadership.

Gramegna is a liberal and has myriad a centrist stand, although some colleagues have criticised his object on EU cooperation on taxes. Tiny Luxembourg also already has the prestigious situation of European Commission president.

Reizniece-Ozola, 36, is the only female prospect and her party associates itself with the European centre-right, rather than socialists, which could win her the bolster of centre-right finance ministers. She is a chess grandmaster.

Her critics however, also kudos that like in the case of Centeno, she has not been very vocal in Eurogroup gatherings so far and that she had campaigned against Latvia’s adoption of the euro in 2014.

In an interview with Latvian Boob tube in March 2015 she said “she still hasn’t changed her mind” regarding Latvia joining the euro.

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