November 29, 2017 / 9:26 PM / a year ago

Italy to back Portugal's finmin for Eurogroup chair -source

ROME, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Italy will back Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno to be the next chairman of euro zone finance ministers, a government source said on Wednesday.

Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan had been seen as a possible contender for the job, but Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said earlier in the day that this would be problematical because national elections are due in the country early next year.

A government source, who declined to be named, said Italy would now support Centeno to replace Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who is stepping down from the influential post after losing his job as Dutch finance minister earlier this year following elections in the Netherlands.

Dijsselbloem is set to announce on Dec. 1 the list of candidates who have stepped forward. (Reporting by Crispian Balmer; editing by Agnieszka Flak)

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