The European Commission's executive vice president, Valdis Dombrovskis, praises the performance of Mário Centeno as president of the Eurogroup for the past two and a half years, of whom he says he has a “steady hand” and “always with the greatest European interest in mind”.
“Mário directed the Eurogroup with skill and a firm hand, and always with the greatest European interest in mind. I particularly commend you for leading to quick agreements on the tools for the coronavirus crisis to support our European Union countries at this exceptionally challenging time, ”said Valdis Dombrovskis to Jornal Económico.
The position of the European Commission's executive vice president is accompanied by the institution's institutional position. “The Commission pays tribute to Mário Centeno for the important role he played in strengthening the resilience of the eurozone as President of the Eurogroup. His leadership and experience have helped the eurozone to respond quickly, strongly and in a coordinated manner to the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, ”a European Commission spokesman told the Jornal Económico.
Mário Centeno's departure as head of Finance was announced today and an hour later he explained, in a Twitter post that his “term of office as president of the Eurogroup ends on July 13, 2020” and that this “Thursday, I will inform my Eurogroup colleagues of my decision not to aim for a second term, because until June 15th I will leave the post of Minister of Finance of Portugal ”.
The (still) president of the Eurogroup was elected president of the informal group of ministers of the eurozone on December 4, 2017 and began to exercise his mandate on January 12, 2018. Reactions to the departure of Centeno by European peers have come through Twitter. Spanish Finance Minister Nadia Calviño wrote in a publication “Thank you, dear Mário Centeno, for your excellent work, both in Portugal and as president of the Eurogroup”.
The German counterpart said that “Mário Centeno is a good friend and I enjoyed working with him. He did a remarkable job as finance minister of Portugal and as president of the Eurogroup. It played a significant role in the EU's fight against the coronavirus pandemic ”, in a post on Twitter. Also the European Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, wrote “Mario, you did an excellent job for Europe”.
(Updated at 17h41)