Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe refused to drop himself out of the race to take over the reins of the European bailout fund on the sidelines of a meeting of European finance ministers in Luxembourg.
In response to a journalist’s question, Minister Donohoe said he had “no comment” on whether he was a possible candidate to succeed Germany’s Klaus Regling as chief executive of the European Stability Mechanism, the €500 billion bailout fund for the eurozone. which Ireland tapped into in 2010.
A tussle ensues within the coalition government here over whether Minister Donohoe can remain head of the Eurogroup of finance ministers when the cabinet is reshuffled here at the end of the year.
The post is traditionally only given to incumbent finance ministers. Under the coalition deal, Mr Donohoe is set to hand over that role to Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath in December.
When asked if there would be a possible ESM replacement, Paschal Donohoe said:
“My only focus is on finding a replacement for Klaus and making sure we have a CEO who can continue the functioning of a vitally important euro area economic institution,” Mr Donohoe told reporters in Luxembourg after chairing a meeting of the Eurogroup on Monday.
“Given that it is my job to oversee this process and try to provide a compromise candidate – and someone who can meet the required support threshold within the eurozone – I will not comment on other candidates, myself included, for reference.” to.
“My job is the President of the Eurogroup. This is a mandate that lasts until December.
“My only focus is on completing this term as President of the Eurogroup and continuing my work as Finance Minister for Ireland and that is where all my energy and work is focused.”
There have been no formal talks about Mr Donohoe taking over the role at the ESM, which finance ministers have been fighting to fill for months.
A replacement for Mr Regling – who has been at the helm of the ESM since its inception – will require the approval of 80 per cent of eurozone finance ministers, who also serve as a board.
Neither Luxembourg’s ex-finance minister Pierre Gramegna nor Portugal’s ex-finance minister João Leão were able to secure the required majority at the beginning of the year.
According to a senior EU official, there are currently “zero candidates” for the post, which is based in Luxembourg.
Mr Regling said he was “confident” that someone would be found to succeed him. His term ends on Friday.
https://www.independent.ie/business/jobs/paschal-donohoe-refuses-to-rule-himself-out-of-top-job-at-bailout-fund-42037229.html Paschal Donohoe refuses to step down from the top post at the bailout fund