Jean-Claude Juncker indicated on Monday in Brussels that he would be leaving his post as president of the Eurogroup early next year, if not at the end of this month. This was to be expected: already in late June, when his presidency was extended by a further six months, the Spiegel news magazine wrote that Mr Juncker had “long been tired of his office”.
Yet little discernible progress has been made regarding his replacement. Paris and Berlin have both publically and privately thrown their support behind the candidacies of their respective finance ministers, Pierre Moscovici and Wolfgang Schäuble. Reports claim that both parties would view a shared presidency as an acceptable compromise, with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy serving in the interim if necessary.
Considering the central organisational role of the Eurogroup president, who heads meetings of euro zone finance ministers, many in the coalition government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel are eager to see one of their own appointed to that position. Some are here pressing, however, for a presidency that would reflect recent opposition to the so-called “austerity” approach to the debt crisis, with which Mr Schäuble is often associated.