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Juncker Says Ceding Euro Job Due to Franco-German Interference

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said he’s stepping down as head of the group of euro-area finance ministers because he’s tired of Franco-German interference in managing the region’s debt crisis.

“They act as if they are the only members of the group,” Juncker said today at a podium discussion in Hamburg. At the same time, Juncker said he’d “fully support” a potential candidacy of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble to succeed him at the helm of the Eurogroup.

Schaeuble has “superb qualifications” for the job, Juncker said. As a fundamental requirement, the job needs a “personal capacity” to listen to others, he said.

A decision on replacing Juncker has been postponed until after the second round of France’s presidential election. Juncker has repeatedly stated that he won’t seek to remain in the job. On March 2, he cited “time constraints” as his reason for stepping aside.

Juncker said then that he and European Union President Herman Van Rompuy had been charged with putting together a “personnel package” of nominations for the upcoming vacancy on the European Central Bank’s Executive Board as well as the leadership of the Eurogroup, the European Stability Mechanism and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

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