FILE PHOTO: Portugal’s Finance Minister and Eurogroup President Mario Centeno attends a eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium February 11, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
March 25, 2019
LISBON (Reuters) – Eurogroup head Mario Centeno said on Monday that a new budget instrument to promote reforms and investment in the euro zone will start with less than hoped but will end up becoming a crucial tool for the bloc.
Describing it as a “new avenue of integration”, Centeno said the tool’s key strands will be defined by June this year, and it will then be framed in the EU’s budget.
“We will certainly start with resources below what some would like but I believe that, over time, this tool will become central to the euro zone, making it more cohesive, inclusive and attractive to the rest of the EU,” he told a conference.
The new EU budget tool will set aside funds to support reforms and convergence between economies and to help investments in countries facing temporary economic shocks.
(Reporting by Sérgio Gonçalves and Catarina Demony; Editing by Axel Bugge)