BERLIN (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande will sound out his German, Italian and Spanish peers on Friday about the chances of making his finance minister, Pierre Moscovici, head of the Eurogroup rather than Germany's Wolfgang Schaeuble, a German paper said.
The German finance minister has stated his readiness to succeed Luxembourg's Jean-Claude Juncker as chairman of the forum of euro zone finance ministers - a key job in the debt crisis - when Juncker steps down this summer. But France's new government is wary of appointing a German champion of austerity.
In the horse-trading for European jobs, if Schaeuble got the Eurogroup, France would head the new European Stability Mechanism (ESM) - a post which Hollande wants for Jean-Pierre Jouyet, head of France's AMF securities regulator, Handelsblatt reported.
But the business daily, citing sources close to the French Socialist leader, said Hollande was keener on the Eurogroup than the ESM and would put this to Angela Merkel, Italy's Mario Monti and Spain's Mariano Rajoy at their talks in Rome on Friday.
Juncker, who is Luxembourg's prime minister, has confirmed he will step down this year, citing the heavy workload and his health. It is possible, however, that he will stay on for a few months after his term ends in June because of the debt crisis.
(Reporting by Stephen Brown, editing by Gareth Jones)
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