January 12, 2018 / 4:23 PM / 6 months ago

Euro zone must seize opportunity to reform: Eurogroup's Centeno

PARIS (Reuters) - The euro zone has a unique opportunity to make progress on reforming its institutions, which is only boosted by the latest developments in Germany’s coalition talks, the Eurogroup’s incoming president said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Mario Centeno, Portugal's Finance Minister and newly elected President of the Eurogroup, holds a news conference at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, December 4, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

“We are now at a critical juncture in the euro area and we have a unique window of opportunity in the coming months that cannot be wasted,” Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno said in Paris after talks with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire.

“The news that we just got from Germany only reinforces this window of opportunity and must be welcome,” said Centeno, who officially is set to become the head of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers on Saturday.

He said the euro zone needed as a priority to complete unification of regulations and institution overseeing the banking sector and capital markets while finding a better way to share burdens among all economic actors.

Le Maire said that while there were still “technical” obstacles blocking progress on banking union, they were “not insurmountable” and could be resolved in months rather than years.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Ingrid Melander

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