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New eurozone finance ministers head Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Monday the G20 was the proper forum, rather than his group, to discuss concerns that a strong euro could hit exports and undermine an already faltering economy.
"It was part of the discussion but the main conclusion was that it should be discussed, if anywhere, at the G20 later this week," Dijsselbloem said after chairing his first Eurogroup meeting.
The issue of exchange rates is expected to figure prominently at a meeting of the world's top economies later this week in Moscow after Japan took steps to push the yen down so as to make its exports cheaper than its competitors.
That move, coupled with recent gains for the euro as the debt crisis has eased, prompted France to call for a debate and action to make the sure that the eurozone's exports were not put at a disadvantage as a result.
"Exchange rates must reflect economic fundamentals ... (they) must not be subject to the whims of speculators," French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said earlier Monday as he went into the meeting in Brussels.
Pressed by reporters on the issue, Dijsselbloem refused to be drawn further.
The euro's value "was not discussed at great length and we felt it should be discussed further where it is more appropriate, the G20," he repeated several times.
"I have made it a rule not to comment on exchange rates," he added in response to a last questioner.