BRUSSELS — The powerful group of countries using Europe’s single currency will choose a new president on Thursday, with three candidates vying for the challenging task of leading the 19-nation bloc out of the deepest economic recession in decades.
The candidates for Eurogroup president are Spain’s Economy Minister Nadia Calviño, who could become the first woman to secure the top job; Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe; and his Luxembourg counterpart Pierre Gramegna, the most experienced of the three.
The winner will be chosen by their peers in a secret ballot by a simple majority of at least 10 of the 19 ministers, with the candidates themselves taking part in voting. A runoff round between the two top scoring candidates will be held if no one wins outright.
The incumbent, Portugal’s Mario Centeno, announced on June 11 that he was stepping down as president after completing his 2.5-year term. His successor will take office next Monday.
The Eurogroup’s main task is to ensure the close coordination of economic policies among the 19 member countries. While an unofficial body in EU terms, it remains extremely powerful and its image was badly tainted in Greece for its handling of the country’s debt crisis.