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Paschal Donohoe set to secure second Eurogroup president term unopposed – The Irish Times


Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is set to secure a second term as Eurogroup president unopposed after the window for rivals to run closed without other contestants coming forward.

At noon Brussels time on Thursday no other candidates had submitted the letter required to run for president, The Irish Times understands, leaving Mr Donohoe uncontested.

The presidency of the powerful group of euro zone finance ministers involves brokering consensus on some of the EU’s fault line issues such as fiscal policy, potentially a crucial role as the continent faces an economic downturn.

Diplomats and officials said Mr Donohoe had been well thought of as president since he was elected to the role in July 2020. He received the public backing of the Netherlands and Belgium for a second term, and is understood to have been quietly supported by France and Germany.

Some member states preferred to avoid the uncertainty of an open contest at a time when economic clouds are gathering and they are already struggling to agree on a replacement for the managing director of the European Stability Mechanism.

There had been uncertainty about whether the upcoming Coalition reshuffle at home would affect Mr Donohoe’s chances, as he is expected to be replaced as finance minister by Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath when the Taoiseach rotates.

Mr Donohoe is expected to become Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, and he is set to chair the Eurogroup while Mr McGrath attends as the representative for Ireland.

The arrangement is slightly unusual as Eurogroup presidents are typically finance ministers, and countries do not usually have two ministers in the meetings, although it has happened in the past.

The election is set to formally take place when the finance ministers meet on December 5th.

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