Dutch Finance Minister elected as eurozone president

Belgium EU Eurogroup

New President-elect of the Eurogroup and Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem addresses the media after an Eurogroup finance ministers meeting at the EU Council in Brussels on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem was elected as the new head of the Eurogroup Monday, succeeding Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker to beat back the debt crisis and restore the euro-area economy.

Spain was alone among the 17 euro countries in voting against him.

Dijsselbloem, 46, pledged “solidarity” within eurozone countries, he told reporters in Brussels.

As a member of the Dutch Labor Party, Dijsselbloem became Dutch finance minister on Nov. 5 as part of Liberal Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s coalition government following an election in September.

The Netherlands has allied with Germany and Finland in setting tough terms for countries seeking aid packages and balking at picking up the costs of repairing banking systems elsewhere.

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici had said Dijsselbloem needs to balance northern and southern interests and not push too hard for deficit reduction.