Ireland to nominate Donohoe for second term as Eurogroup chief

FILE PHOTO: Irish Finance Minister and Eurogroup President Paschal Donohoe speaks during a panel discussion at the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund during the Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington

DUBLIN (Reuters) -Ireland will nominate Paschal Donohoe to serve a second term as president of the Eurogroup even though he will no longer be Ireland's finance minister when his term in Europe comes to an end in January, the government said on Friday.

Donohoe was appointed chair of the group of euro zone finance ministers in July 2020 and the government said in a statement that if re-elected, he will carry out his duties as Ireland's public expenditure minister.

Dublin said it would then have two representatives at the meetings as Donohoe is due to swap positions with current expenditure minister Michael McGrath in December as part of a coalition deal agreed shortly before he became Eurogroup chief.

While this could potentially complicate his re-election bid as the Eurogroup chief is usually a sitting finance minister, Luxembourg had two representatives while Jean-Claude Juncker was head of the influential group.

The Eurogroup played a key role coordinating policy during the financial crises of the last decade, ultimately helping to avoid the collapse of the common currency. Holding the chair has added to Ireland's influence in the bloc.

It has allowed Donohoe to play an important role in negotiations to overhaul global corporate tax rules that could be particularly damaging for Ireland as it is the low-tax European headquarters for big multinational employers including Apple Inc, Alphabet's Google and Facebook.

The Eurogroup will invite euro zone governments to submit candidates for the job at a meeting in Brussels on Monday.

(Reporting by Padraic HalpinEditing by Chris Reese and Bill Berkrot)