BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos has the support of some euro zone countries to replace Jeroen Dijsselbloem as the head of euro zone finance ministers when Dijsselbloem's term ends in the middle of 2015, the president of the European Council said on Saturday.
A final decision on who will replace Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister, at the helm of the Eurogroup will be made by euro zone finance ministers only next year.
But the influential job is also seen as part of a package of EU and euro zone positions that EU leaders try to distribute evenly among member countries, taking into account geographical, political and gender criteria.
"When it comes to the future, after half way through 2015, I've seen that Mrs. Merkel, the German Chancellor, thinks that Mr. de Guindos is a candidate who would be quite suitable to carry on these functions and I've heard other European countries have the same view," Herman Van Rompuy told a news conference at a summit of EU leaders that he was chairing.
Merkel, who heads the biggest euro zone country, has publically endorsed de Guindos for the position and many euro zone policy-makers have said there was agreement that he would get the job next year.
After Dijsselbloem's term ends, the position of the chairman of euro zone finance ministers is to become a full-time job based in Brussels, rather than an additional task for a finance minister that he or she has to juggle with regular national duties.
(Reporting By Martin Santa and Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)