Economy: A leading financial newspaper has named Luxembourg’s prime minister as the sixth best European finance minister.
Jean Claude-Juncker, who has been the Grand Duchy’s prime minister since 1995 and also serves as the country’s treasury minister, took the sixth slot in the Financial Times’ seventh annual ranking of EU finance ministers.
“Europe’s longest-serving prime minister gave up his role as finance minister in 2009 but remains deeply involved in fiscal policy,” the FT said on Thursday. As chair of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, the newspaper said Juncker has been “a lightning rod for criticism of EU handling of the crisis, and at times he himself has descended into recriminations, accusing France and Germany of forcing pre-cooked solutions down others’ throats.”
But the FT concluded that Juncker “is seen as an ally of the fiscally responsible north, since he has maintained his country’s triple A credit rating, but is still trusted in the struggling south, where his is seen as an honest broker with Germany.”
Germany’s finance minister topped the ratings, with the paper writing: “The 70-year-old is not afraid to take the liberties accorded to an elder statesman. Wolfgang Schäuble frequently harries colleagues with ideas about fiscal reform and European integration.”
Juncker also trailed second placed Anders Borg of Sweden, Jacek Rostowski of Poland, Jutta Urpilainen of Finland, and Michael Noonan of Ireland.
The publication’s rankings derived from three performance areas: political ability, based on a poll of leading European economists; economic performance, based on seven measures including GDP growth, government accounts and unemployment rates; and credibility in the markets, based on changes in government bond yields.
The bottom five finance ministers were, from last place, Luis de Guindos of Spain, Gyorgy Matolcsy of Hungary, Yannis Stournaras of Greece, Pierre Moscovici of France, and George Osborne of the UK.