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Germany's Schaeuble bids farewell to Eurogroup after eight years

Europe
09.10.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Luxembourg (dpa) - Finance ministers of the 19-member eurozone reflected on German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble‘s eight years in office on Monday, as the veteran politician attended his last Eurogroup meeting.

Schaeuble, 75, who has held the post of finance minister since 2009, emerged as a defining figure of Europe‘s debt crisis and a staunch supporter of austerity during the calamitous years of the Greek financial crisis.

"In the life of the Eurogroup, there will be a before Schaeuble, a with Schaeuble and an after Schaeuble - and the after will be different," said Pierre Moscovici, European commissioner for economic and financial affairs.

"He‘s somebody that you can succeed ... but you cannot replace."

He noted that Schaeuble was instrumental in helping the Eurogroup gain importance among EU institutions, noting, "It‘s largely due to Wolfgang‘s personality and action."

Schaeuble said that during his eight years in office, the Eurogroup became acutely aware just how fragile the European Union‘s common currency was.

"We have held the euro stable in these eight years," he said. "We have also succeeded in getting the support in the member states - that was decisive."

Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the German finance minister "played a crucial role" in the past years, which were "very difficult and challenging years for the eurozone."

"He will be missed - his experience, his wisdom, his sternness sometimes - but also personally, as a friend," Dijsselbloem said.

Schaeuble is set to take on the role of speaker in Germany‘s Bundestag parliament following the September 24 elections.

 

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