By Sergio Goncalves
LISBON/MADRID (Reuters) – Portugal backs the candidacy of Spanish Economy minister Nadia Calvino to head the Eurogroup, the country’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa said in an interview on Sunday.
“It would be very important for that position to remain in the socialist family. We have to agree among all, but of course Nadia Calviño meets all the conditions,” Costa told the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia
Calviño, 51, who is also vice-president of the Spanish left-wing coalition government, is seen as a frontrunner to succeed Portugal’s outgoing finance minister, Mario Centeno, at the Eurogroup’s helm.
She will stand against Irish centre-right minister Pascal Donohoe and his Luxembourg counterpart Pierre Gramegna, a socialist like Calvino.
The decision on the replacement of Centeno, who is stepping down because he is ceasing to be Portugal’s finance minister, will be taken on July 9, four days before Centeno’s term ends.
The job of chairing the 19 euro zone finance ministers lasts for 2-1/2 years, a term that can be renewed.
Portugal is fighting an upsurge in the novel coronavirus and has reimposed movement restrictions in some areas. nL8N2DV5J5]
In the same interview, Costa said he did not believe outbreaks on the outskirts of Lisbon would jeopardise UEFA’s decision to hold the Champions League final in Lisbon in August.
“There is no relationship with the Lisbon city centre, where the Champions will be held,” Costa said.
(Reporting by Sérgio Gonçalves; Editing by Graham Keeley and Barbara Lewis)