RIP Wim Duisenberg
The former European Central Bank head honcho, who oversaw the introduction of the single currency during his 1998-2003 tenure, was found dead yesterday following cardiac trouble. As he died in the pool of his south of France villa, be certain that some less than respectful comments will be made about how this is indicative of the decadence of the EU, or something...
A few people have been referring to him as the father of the Euro, but his role was more that of midwife and wetnurse, helping drag the prematurely-born currency kicking and screaming into the world, coping with the complications and suckling and nursing the thing through the difficult early years. Having stepped down two years ago he'd passed his charge on to the runtish currency's nanny figure, Jean-Claude Trichet, who's currently having to protect the poor dear from the bullying likes of Silvio Berlusconi and the nasty gang of eurosceptics at the nursery school.
More: Bloomberg, Reuters, Financial Times, Guardian, Telegraph, Times obituary, CNN, Le Monde, Libération, EU Observer, ECB Press Release.