The Latest: Portugal's Centeno wins battle to head eurogroupDecember 4, 2017 4:16pm

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on the election of the next president of the eurogroup (all times local):

5:05 p.m.

Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno has been elected the new head of the so-called eurogroup, the body made up of the single currency bloc's finance ministers.

In a tweet following the election, the European Union said he had been elected as the eurogroup's new president and that he will take up his post on Jan. 13.

Centeno 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. He defeated Luxembourg's Pierre Gramegna, Slovakia's Peter Kazimir and Latvia's Dana Reizniece-Ozola.

Centeno will take the helm at a time when the eurozone is in far better shape than the one that existed during Dijsselbloem's tenure.

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.

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12:45 p.m.

The finance ministers from the 19 countries that use the euro are deciding who should lead their regular meetings, with Portugal's Mario Centeno widely tipped to take the helm of a group that has been at the forefront of the single currency bloc's crisis-fighting efforts.

The decision of who will succeed Dutchman Jeroen Dijsselbloem as president of the so-called eurogroup is expected later Monday. Dijsselbloem, who has held the post for nearly five years, has been one of the most high-profile European politicians during a period that saw a number of countries, notably Greece, teeter on the edge of bankruptcy and the euro currency itself come under threat.

Three other candidates are in the frame, too: Luxembourg's Pierre Gramegna, Slovakia's Peter Kazimir and Latvia's Dana Reizniece-Ozola.

Whoever gets the presidency will inherit a eurozone in far better shape than the one that existed during Dijsselbloem's tenure. 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.

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