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Centeno takes over as new Eurogroup Pres.

BRUSSELS, Jan 12 (KUNA) -- Mario Centeno will tomorrow Saturday start his mandate as Eurogroup President, taking over from Jeroen Dijsselbloem who served in the position since 2013, according to an EU statement released Friday.
Euro area finance ministers elected Centeno as Eurogroup President on 4 December 2017, for a term of two and a half years.
To mark the handover of the Eurogroup Presidency and complete the transition of tasks, Dijsselbloem and Centeno had a working meeting Friday where they also discussed the Eurogroup agenda.
"I am highly motivated to take on the helm of the Eurogroup. We have a unique window of opportunity to deepen monetary union, making our common currency more resilient against future crises," said Centeno in press statements.
On his part, Dijsselbloem said: "The eurozone is in much better shape now than in 2013. We have economic growth in all countries, unemployment is falling and public finances are on a sounder footing. I would like to wish Mario Centeno all the best in his new role as Eurogroup President." Centeno is finance minister of Portugal, a position he was appointed to in 2015. The first Eurogroup meeting under his presidency will take place in Brussels on 22 January.
The Eurogroup is an informal body in which the finance ministers from the 19 euro area member states discuss matters related to their countries' common responsibilities with regard to the euro. Its main task is to ensure close coordination of economic policies among euro area member states and promote conditions for stronger economic growth. (end) nk.mt