Small country should name euro chief: German opposition
(BERLIN) - A leader of Germany's biggest opposition party said in an interview published Sunday he was against Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble becoming eurozone chief due to Berlin's already outsized "dominance".
The Social Democrats' parliamentary group head, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that he opposed Schaeuble succeeding Jean-Claude Juncker as chief of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers.
"I am against the idea," said Steinmeier, a former German foreign minister and vice chancellor.
"Germany's dominance in European finance policy is already outsized due to our economic strength."
Steinmeier said it would be better if a smaller eurozone country took the reins from Juncker of Luxembourg but that Germany's centre-right government would manage to get Schaeuble the job if it insisted on it.
"Whether that does us any good is another matter," he said.
Schaeuble said last month that he was prepared to lead the Eurogroup, a crucial position as the eurozone struggles with its crippling debt crisis.
He would have to be approved by eurozone heads of state and government if he is to succeed Juncker, who has held the position since it was created in 2005 and plans to step aside at the end of this month.
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