log in to manage your profile and account
- Create your account
- Receive up-to-date newsletters
- Set up text alerts
Published: Monday, December 04, 2017 @ 6:44 AM
Updated: Monday, December 04, 2017 @ 6:43 AM
BRUSSELS — Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno has won the race to become the top official of the 19-country eurozone, the body which has been at the forefront of the single currency bloc's crisis-fighting efforts in the past few years.
Centeno said that his peers elected him as the eurogroup's new president and that he would take up his post Jan. 13.
He had been overwhelming favorite to win the race to succeed Dutchman Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who has been at the helm for nearly five crisis-ridden years, largely centered on cash-strapped Greece. He defeated Luxembourg's Pierre Gramegna, Slovakia's Peter Kazimir and Latvia's Dana Reizniece-Ozola.
Centeno takes over at a time when the eurozone is in far better shape than it has been for years — the economy is growing strongly, while worries over Greece's future in the bloc have subsided and the country is poised to exit its bailout era next summer.
Centeno's victory has the potential to symbolize a new era for the eurozone, all the more so as he comes from less-wealthy southern Europe.
While eurozone governments still insist that countries must keep their public finances in shape, there's a greater acknowledgement that the austerity of the past few years has taken a heavy toll on people, particularly in countries like Portugal and Greece.
Following the recent departure of long-time German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, considered the high priest of austerity in the eurozone, a Centeno victory encapsulates that shift.
Portugal was one of four eurozone countries that had to be bailed out during the region's debt crisis. In 2011, the country required a 78-billion-euro ($93 billion) rescue after its budget deficit grew too large and bond market investors asked for hefty premiums to lend to the government. In return for the financial lifeline, Portuguese governments had to enact a series of spending cuts and economic reforms. Portugal exited its bailout program in 2014.
Though the strategy may have worked in bringing Portugal's public finances into better shape, austerity accentuated a deep recession and sharply raised unemployment. Following a backlash against austerity, the Socialist Party came to power in December 2015, with Centeno, a former Bank of Portugal analyst, taking the post of finance minister.
Before Monday's vote, Centeno said that his aim would be to "generate consensus" in the "challenging" period ahead.
Achieving that consensus isn't always easy given that the governments of the eurozone come from a variety of political traditions with differing mandates and economic agendas.
Dijsselbloem was considered a skilled operator in bridging differences and maintaining a consensus over austerity. That was especially the case during the Greek crisis of 2015, which saw the country nearly crash out of the euro before the newly elected left-led government in Athens agreed to a last-minute international bailout.
Dijsselbloem's Labor Party fared poorly in Dutch elections this year and is no longer part of the coalition government, meaning he can't remain in the eurogroup.
Before Monday's meeting, he said that keeping the eurogroup "together and united" should be the primary purpose of the next eurogroup president.
"It's the only way we take decisions in the eurogroup," he said.
Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 11:03 PM
MIDDLETOWN — Middletown police are warning residents about a group of teens pulling people over impersonating police officers.
Police made the public warning on its Facebook page on Sunday evening.
Police said four white teens are driving around Middletown in a blue or gray convertible that has a light on the dashboard as well as a loud speaker and air horn.
Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 5:30 PM
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.
SpaceX lit up the night sky over the Space Coast this weekend with the launch of the Telstar 19 Vantage satellite around 1:50 a.m. Sunday.
The space launch company said Saturday that its Falcon 9 rocket was vertical on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Telstar 19 Vantage is described as a “state-of-the-art, high throughput satellite optimized to serve growing markets in the Americas,” said Dan Goldberg, Telesat's president and CEO.
Successful deployment of Telstar19 VANTAGE to a geostationary transfer orbit confirmed. pic.twitter.com/cXKyyw6VXC— SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 22, 2018
Telstar 19 Vantage will help improve mobile communication signals from Latin America to Northern Canada.
Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 8:03 PM
Updated: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 9:35 PM
FALLON, Nev. — A man fatally shot one person and injured another at a Nevada church during service Sunday afternoon, officials said.
One person is dead. The other victim was taken to a hospital with a leg injury, Fallon Mayor Ken Tedford told KOLO. The identities have not been released.
The suspected gunman, John Kelley O’Connor, 48, walked into Fallon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around 1 p.m., started firing, then left and walked home. He is in custody, Tedford told KOLO.
“Our hearts go out to the family members of those who have lost someone and those who were in the church today where the tragedy occurred,” Tedford told KOLO.
The shooting happened in front of about 50 other parishioners, KOLO reported.
“It’s really too early to understand the motive,” Fallon Police Chief Kevin Gehman told KOLO.
Deeply saddened by the act of senseless violence in Fallon today at the LDS church. We are in contact with Mayor Tedford and other officials. My family and I are praying for all loved ones, churchgoers, and community members impacted by this tragedy.— Dean Heller (@SenDeanHeller) July 22, 2018
Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 9:20 PM
OUTER BANKS, N.C. — A man jumped into the Outer Banks in an attempt to save three boys caught in a rip current and was himself pulled out to sea on Thursday.
Kenny Ray Gooch, 32, of Powells Point, tried to save his girlfriend’s 12-year-old son, who was swimming near the Kitty Hawk pier with two teens, when they were pulled 75 yards out by a rip current, WTKR reported.
Gooch rushed in to help but was pulled out to sea and disappeared.
Bystanders rescued the 12-year-old. The 19- and 14-year-old made it back to shore on their own, according to WTKR.
Gooch was later found by water rescuers who brought him to shore but were unable to revive him, according to WTKR.
Gooch is the eighth victim of the Outer Banks surf this year. Two years ago nine people died.