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France to push Moscovici as Eurogroup chief

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schäuble
French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schäuble AFP PHOTO / DAVID GANNON

France hopes to propose Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici as head of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers in an attempt to block Germany’s Wolfgang Shaeuble, according to the German business daily Handelsblatt.

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Socialist President François Hollande is to test the water for Moscivici’s candidacy at a

Parliamentary elections 2012

meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian and Spanish prime ministers Mario Monti and Mariano Rajoy in Rome on Friday, the paper quotes sources close to the French president as saying.

Hollande, who is locked in a battle with Merkel over eurozone policy, is reported to have strong reservations about a German taking over the post.

Current Eurogroup head, Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, retires in July.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

Schaeubler’s spokesperson, Marianna Kothe, on Wednesday confirmed that he is ready to stand.

Schaeuble "has always said repeatedly that he is available but that he would also have nothing against Juncker continuing,” she told a press conference. “He has always said he is in principle available."

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