Dijsselbloem: postpone successor vote to focus on Greece

The chair of the Eurogroup council of eurozone finance ministers called on Wednesday for the election of his successor to be postponed until July, to allow attention to be focused on negotiations over Greece.

“Greece requires all attention,” said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who is also the Dutch finance minister, in a tweet. “The election should not lead to debate on procedures.”

Speaking as he headed into a Dutch parliamentary debate before Thursday’s planned gathering of the Eurogroup, Dijsselbloem said time was running short for a deal between Greece and its creditors.

“It’s up to the Greeks to present a number of alternatives,” he told reporters. “Everything they don’t want they have made abundantly clear. That means they will have to present other, alternative proposals.”

He added: “As regards timing, it’s very difficult but it’s still possible.”

Dijsselbloem, who has played a central role in negotiations between Greece and its creditors, is running for a fresh 30-month term, but he faces stiff competition from his Spanish counterpart Luis De Guindos, seen as the candidate of the southern countries hardest hit by the eurozone debt crisis. [Reuters]