Reizniece-Ozola pulls out of Eurogroup bid

The bid by Latvian Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola to become president of the Eurogroup group of countries played out December 4 at a meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels with Reizniece-Ozola eventually stepping aside.

As previously reported by LSM, Reizniece-Ozola was one of four candidates for the influential post representing EU countries that use the euro as their currency.

However after lengthy discussions she withdrew her candidacy after a first round of voting, saying that by doing so she was allowing the possibility of a stalemate to be broken.

The eventual winner of the vote was Portuguese finance minister Mario Centeno.

Reizniece-Ozola was the only woman among the four candidates  in the running, even though while a Greens and Farmers Union member of Saeima in 2012 she actually voted to delay Latvia joining the eurozone.

Since then her career has developed rapidly and she has won praise for the two budget packages she has steered through Saeima and taken the bold move to move Latvia towards a progressive tax regime.

On her way into the crucial meeting, she tweeted that it was "a chance for the Baltic to take a leading role in a closer and stronger Europe," signalling that she was clearly up for the job.

The first president of the Eurogroup was Jean-Claude Juncker. Jeroen Dijsselbloem succeeded him in January 2013 and was re-elected in July 2015. But with the post re-elected every two and a half years, Reizniece-Ozola will have done her future chances no harm at all by her magnanimous gesture.

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