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Current Eurogroup President, Paschal Donohoe Xinhua News Agency/PA Images
Paschal Donohoe

Eurozone finance ministers to vote for new Eurogroup President next month

Paschal Donohoe is currently seeking a second term as President of the Eurogroup.

EUROZONE FINANCE MINISTERS will next month vote for the next President of the Eurogroup, with Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe seeking a second term.

At a press conference this afternoon, Donohoe announced that the election would take place at the next meeting of the Eurogroup on 5 December following agreement between the finance ministers.

“One last issue that I want to reference is the upcoming end of my term as president of the Eurogroup. It expires in the middle of next January and thus the need for the Eurogroup to elect a president for the next term of two and a half years,” Donohoe said.

He told reporters that any minister seeking to run must declare their intentions by 24 November.

It comes days after the Government confirmed that Donohoe was seeking a second term as Eurogroup President.

However, if elected, he would serve as President of the Eurogroup as the Public Expenditure Minister rather than the Finance Minister.

This is due to the planned Cabinet reshuffle in mid-December, with Donohoe expected to swap jobs with current Public Expenditure Minister, Michael McGrath.

McGrath would then represent Ireland at meetings of the Eurogroup and the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN), while Donohoe remained as Eurogroup President.

It comes after months of speculation on whether or not Donohoe would be able to remain as Eurogroup President if he was no longer Finance Minister.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar initially raised the issue in September, saying that Ireland could lose out on the position if Donohoe was no longer Finance Minister.

However, Taoiseach Micheál Martin then made clear that the “fundamental principle of the government” was around “parity of esteem between parties”.

This meant that if one party held the Taoiseach’s office, the other party would hold the finance ministry.

“That was clear and that was understood at the time,” Martin said.

McGrath also indicated at the Fianna Fáil think-in that he would represent Ireland at the Eurogroup if he were to take over as finance minister in December.

“It is always the case that the finance minister of the country attends the Eurogroup and we would expect that to continue,” he told reporters.

Contains reporting by Jane Moore

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