15th Sep 2019

Juncker confirmed as 'Mr Euro'

Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker has been chosen as semi-permanent President of the group of finance ministers from the 12 countries that share the euro, representing the group at international finance events

Mr Juncker, who is both leader and finance minister of Luxembourg, will provide a link between the euro zone and the European Central Bank and will chair the monthly meetings of the group.

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  • Mr Euro (Photo: Irish EU Presidency)

His term as President will last two years.

Grasser as Vice-President

The concerns of Austria have been swept aside with the appointment of their finance minister Karl-Heinz Grasser as Vice-President of the group.

Austria raised concerns over the appointment of a more permanent position because it was due to miss out on the chance of chairing the meetings itself.

However, it was agreed that Mr Grasser would be Vice-President for one and a half years. After this time, whichever country holds the rotating EU Presidency will provide the Vice-President.

The current head of the Council, Gerrit Zalm expressed his pleasure that a compromise had been reached. "I am a happy Chairman", he told reporters.

Mr Grasser himself told journalists that it was a "good compromise".

Mr Juncker - whose name had been suggested as the President of the European Commission - quipped, "as my name has been circulated for all sorts of Presidents, I could hardly say no to this one".

Juncker calls for key economic target to be revised

The Union’s key target date of 2010 for becoming the most competitive economy in the World should be revised, according to Luxembourg’s PM and the man many tip to be the next Commission president in an interview with the EUobserver.

Hungary tops EU anti-fraud investigation list

In its annual report, the EU's anti-fraud agency said it concluded nine investigations into Hungary and found irregularities in seven cases. In total, the agency recommended the recovery of €371m EU-wide.


Brexit row delays financial products transparency review

A European financial regulatory body set up after the financial crisis is at loggerheads with the European Commission over whether to carry out a transparency review of certain financial products. The reason: Brexit.

Commission defends Mercosur trade deal

EU commissioners defended a far-reaching free trade agreement between the EU and four Latin American countries, against critics who fear it will damage European farmers' livelihoods and the global environment.

EU hesitates to back France over US tariff threat

France has passed a new tax on tech companies that will affect US global giants like Facebook. Donald Trump has threatened retaliatory tariffs over it. The EU commission says it will "coordinate closely with French" on the next steps.

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