THE Government will be hoping that Jeroen Dijsselbloem's stint in Cork while studying for his master's has given him a keen understanding of Ireland.
Michael Noonan has given the Dutch finance minister his support to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker at the helm of the Eurogroup. The 46-year-old has a deeper knowledge of Ireland than most, but his reputation as a stickler for tough fiscal discipline from a Triple-A economy with views similar to Germany's doesn't suggest a strong Irish ally.
Jeroen Rene Victor Anton Dijsselbloem (pictured) was born in Eindhoven in 1966. His political career kicked off when he worked as an assistant to the Dutch Labour Party and MEPs in Brussels. He became a member of the Dutch House of Representatives from 2000 to 2002, and then until he took up his post as a minister.
Mr Noonan took on a defiant tone ahead of the Eurogroup meeting last night, stating the Government remained committed to the June summit that pledged banking debt would be separated from the State's balance books. The question is – will Mr Dijsselbloem's elevation have any effect on that aspiration?