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Juncker to keep seat at Eurogroup table

25 January 2013, 16:52 CET
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(BRUSSELS) - Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker has decided to keep his seat around the Eurogroup table, days after passing on the chairmanship to a Dutch newcomer.

Europe's longest-serving leader told the local media that also being Treasury Minister: "I am not quitting the European scene!"

He underlined: "I will take part in Eurogroup meetings," the regular gatherings of finance ministers from the eurozone that he chaired for eight years until Monday night.

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem formally took over on Tuesday for a 30-month mandate, while Luxembourg Finance Minister Luc Frieden had sat at the table as well as Juncker for the past few years.

Juncker says his new status will allow him real "freedom of speech" and enable him to tackle "erratic reactions" from market participants or react to statements that are "misinterpreted."

He said he would not be a sort of "mother-in-law" to the Eurogroup, but advised Dijsselbloem to keep his "ears wide open."

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