Four EU ministers candidate for Eurogroup chief

Brussels – The finance ministers of Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal and Slovakia all threw their hat in the ring Thursday to succeed Jeroen Dijsselbloem as president of the Eurogroup.

The influential panel of eurozone finance ministers is responsible for overseeing the 19-country currency bloc. Dijsselbloem, the former Dutch finance minister, has presided over the group since 2013. His term ends on January 13.

New president will be chosen by majority vote

The candidates to succeed him are Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno, Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna, their Slovakian counterpart Peter Kazimir and Latvia’s Dana Reizniece-Ozola, the Eurogroup announced in a statement.

The new president will be chosen by majority vote at Monday’s Eurogroup meeting in Brussels.

Centeno has reportedly been hailed by former German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble as the “Ronaldo of the Eurogroup,” in reference to the football superstar, after Portugal recovered from being a bailout recipient to meet EU budget targets.

Reizniece-Ozola, the only woman to run for the post, is a former chess grand master.

The Eurogroup’s first president was Luxembourg finance minister and then prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker, the current president of the European Commission.