Ministers for Economic and Financial Affairs gathered for the Eurogroup meeting under the chairmanship of Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxembourg and President of the Eurogroup. The European Commission was represented by José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, and by Joaquín Almunia, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs. As President of the Eurogroup since January 1st, Jean-Claude Juncker presented the priorities of the Luxembourg Presidency and then undertook the traditional analysis of the Euro-zone and international economic situation, as well as the European currency's international role. Ministers also exchanged views on the current updated stability programmes of Germany, France and Greece. Ministers also discussed various options for reforming the Stability and Growth Pact. Jean-Claude Juncker has already ruled out the possibility that certain categories of spending could be exempt from the 3% deficit rule, although several European governments, such as the German, the British, the Italian and the French, have hopes for it. At this stage, the Presidency seeks to reconcile the Member States' positions, the aim being to arrive at an agreement on modifications to the application of Pact provisions by the March 7-8 Finance Council.
Eurogroup Council: arrivals and round table SHOTLIST