Ireland’s finance minister Paschal Donohoe has been elected as the new president of the eurozone’s finance group.
Donohoe succeeds former president Mário Centeno from Portugal who said in June he would not run for another term as Eurogroup president.
The Irish minister comes to the helm of the group at a complex moment with forecasts that the Euro area economy will contract by 8.7% this year.
Outgoing president Centeno said that even if the economy continues to rebound, the eurozone will be behind where it had been even next year.
“As I begin my tenure as president of the Eurogroup, I’m deeply conscious that the citizens of Europe… have become concerned, have become fearful again,” for their futures and jobs, Donohoe said at a press conference.
Donohoe also said that he was confident that the Eurogroup could play an “essential role in forging a consensus” on policy decisions for the entire bloc.
He added he was confident that the Eurogroup has the ability to overcome the challenges and prevail.
The Eurogroup president is elected for two and a half years. The president has to win a majority of Eurogroup finance minister votes in order to be elected.