Dijsselbloem to stay on as Eurogroup president for time being
Departing Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem will remain chairman of the Eurogroup for the time being, he said after a meeting of the EU Finance Ministers in Malta on Friday. None of his colleagues asked for his resignation, Dijsselbloem said, NOS reports.
Dijsselbloem was discredited following an interview with a German newspaper. In it he talked about countries accepting EU aid, and how they should also accept the responsibilities that go with that aid. "I can not spend all my money on booze and women and then ask for help", he said. A number of eastern European countries took this statement as an insult directed at them.
So far Dijsselbloem refused to apologize for his statement, and he did not apologize today either. He did say that he regrets the fuss that arose around the statement. "The wording caused pain and that I regret."
Dijsselbloem explained himself to his colleagues, he said. "No minister asked to speak afterwards and no one said that I should step down. There is still much work to do, so I am continuing."
Dijsselbloem's successor will in any case be sought in the coming months. Only Finance Ministers can be part of the Eurogroup. And chances are very small that the PvdA Minister will form part of the next cabinet. Dijsselbloem's term as Eurogroup president ends in January.