Mário Centeno resigns as Portuguese finance minister. This also makes the post of the Eurogroup President vacant that Centeno is currently holding. MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
“The replacement of the Eurogroup President should be used to reform this position. If you are the head of the Eurogroup and national finance minister at the same time, conflicts of interest are inevitable. The leader of the Eurogroup should be a European, not a national politician. This position deserves a European full-time chair. Such a reform of the Eurogroup presidency was already called for in the Five Presidents’ Report. The euro area needs a real fiscal union. Centeno’s resignation is a good opportunity to initiate this reform. During Centeno’s tenure, it always left a bitter taste that Portugal simultaneously chaired the Eurogroup and cashed in for thousands of golden visas.
Even if a national finance minister should take over again: A central task of the next Eurogroup leader is the introduction of a minimum taxation of companies in Europe. EU minimum tax rates are an important tool to curb tax dumping. A finance minister who is fueling European tax competition in his home country would have to change drastically as head of the euro group. Whoever leads the Eurogroup cannot do politics in the interest of Europe’s tax havens.”