No Eurogroup minister suggested Dijsselbloem’s dismissal

  • ECO News
  • 9 April 2017

The Eurogroup president stated his dismissal was not discussed in today's meeting. When entering, Mourinho Félix told Dijsselbloem his statements were "shocking".

Mourinho Félix (L) and Dijsselbloem (R)

During this Friday’s Eurogroup meeting in Malta, in which the State undersecretary and Finance secretary Mourinho Félix was present, no minister requested Jeroen Dijsselbloem’s dismissal, according to the Group’s president in the press conference following the meeting.

Dijsselbloem once again stated he was sorry that his words to the German newspaper were badly interpreted. “I was the one who brought up the subject in the beginning of the meeting, and told the ministers what I had told European members: that I am sorry my choice of words offended and upset people”, he acknowledged. The Eurogroup president spoke of the unity there should be in Euro Area countries and then told journalists: “After that, no one said a thing, so we can interpret they approved my statement on the subject. No one requested my resignation, nor was it mentioned in the meeting, therefore I will continue to do my job“.

Mourinho Félix, who was replacing the Finance minister in this Friday’s meeting, confronted Jeroen Dijsselbloem before the meeting began. He took the chance to demand an apology for Dijsselbloem’s statements when shaking his hand: “What you said about southern countries was deeply shocking, and we would like for you to apologize in front of the ministers and the press”. Recorded on RTP‘s cameras, Dijsselbloem was prompt to respond: I will say something about it, but Portugal’s reaction was also shocking. I will not ask you for an apology, but I will say something”.

In the end of the press conference about the Eurogroup meeting, Mourinho Félix acknowledged that no one spoke of Dijsselbloem’s apology. Portugal’s stance, however, remains the same, he told RTP journalists — that is to say, Portugal considers the Eurogroup president is dividing the Euro Area and that a new approach from someone new is needed. Mourinho Félix, however, refrained from using the term “resignation”.