European Council president thanks Centeno for his ‘hard work’

  • Lusa
  • 9 June 2020

Charles Michel thanked Mario Centeno on Tuesday for his "hard work" in Europe as the President of Eurogroup.

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, thanked Mario Centeno on Tuesday for his “hard work” in Europe and stressed that Eurogroup must continue to work towards a strong recovery of the European economy.

“Thank you, Mario Centeno, for your hard work as president of the Eurogroup and for the excellent cooperation”, Charles Michel wrote on his official Twitter social network account.

Looking ahead to the future, the president of the European Council stressed that “Eurogroup must continue to prepare the ground for a strong economic recovery” as “Covid-19 has stagnated the economy but has accelerated the EU’s determination to rebuild better.”

Charles Michel was the first leader of the EU institutions to react to Mario Centeno’s announcement that he is leaving the leadership of the eurozone finance ministers’ forum, following his decision to step down as Portugal’s finance minister.

Announcing today that he will not run for a second term, Centeno made it clear that he will carry out the current one until the end (13 July) and will also lead the election to find his successor on 9 July.

Elected on 4 December 2017 to the presidency of the Eurogroup for two and a half years, Centeno will resign from his post in July, becoming the first president of the informal forum of finance ministers of the euro area to serve only one term.

Centeno was the third president of the Eurogroup after Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker (2005-2013) and Dutchman Jeroen Dijsselbloem (2013-2018).

His term of office comes to an end in a context of economic crisis, in Europe and across the globe, caused by the “Great Confinement” caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the leadership of Centeno, the Eurogroup agreed on some components of the European response to the Covid-19 crisis, namely “safety nets” for states, businesses and workers for a total amount of 580 billion euros.

Portugal’s president today accepted the resignation of Mário Centeno as finance minister, proposed by the prime minister, and his replacement by João Leão, until now secretary of state for the budget.