Germany's Schaeuble tipped to succeed Juncker: report

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is the favorite to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as chairman of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, German magazine Focus reported on Saturday, citing diplomatic sources.

Juncker is due to give up the post in January 2012.

The magazine quoted sources as saying the euro zone needed a tough politician who could enforce policy and that Juncker's successor should have the Eurogroup chairmanship as his sole role to focus properly on the job, relinquishing other posts.

"If names are mentioned, then it is mostly that of the German Schaeuble," one diplomat was quoted as saying.

"If he wants it, he will be it," the diplomat added.

If Schaeuble were appointed to the post, Chancellor Angela Merkel would be deprived of yet another important ally.

She has already lost adviser Jens Weidmann who became Bundesbank president earlier this year after Axel Weber quit. And she looks set to lose to deputy finance minister Joerg Asmussen to the European Central Bank to succeed Juergen Stark, who said on Friday he was resigning.

(Reporting By Madeline Chambers; Editing by Toby Chopra)