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Key Players in the European Debt Crisis
European leaders are racing to save the euro in what has become one of the defining battles in the history of the single currency.  Here are some of the key officials who are steering the negotiations.

Angela Merkel, EU

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Born in 1954, Merkel has been the leader of Germany for the past six years.  As Europe’s economic powerhouse, Germany has played a crucial role in dictating the continent’s response to its debt crisis.

Photo Source: Reuters

President Sarkozy EU

French President Nicolas Sarkozy

Sarkozy, a lawyer and political scientist by trade, jumped into French politics at the national level in 1993 as Budget Minister, and was elected president in 2007.  France is the European Union’s second-biggest economy, and its banks are seen to have a particularly high exposure to beleaguered eurozone sovereign debt.  As a result, the country has pushed hard for measures to shore up the currency bloc’s financial markets.

Photo Source: The Council of the European Union

David Cameron (U.K. PM)

British Prime Minister David Cameron

The leader of Great Britain’s Conservative Party since 2005, Cameron became Prime Minister after the General Election in May of last year, ending more than a decade of Labour Party rule, according to BBC.  The UK is not part of the euro currency bloc, but has nevertheless seen its financial markets take a hit as a result of the eurozone’s crisis. As a result, Cameron has been forced to walk a treacherous political tightrope.

Photo Source: Reuters

Reuters

Mario Draghi ECB President

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi

An Italian-born economist who received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Draghi took over as head of the ECB in November following Jean-Claude Trichet’s 8-year tenure.  The central bank has found itself lodged in the middle of a fierce debate, with some analysts accusing policymakers of acting too slowly to stem the crisis and other urging restraint.

Photo Source: Reuters

Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director, IMF

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde

Lagarde, 55, took charge of the International Monetary Fund in July after serving various roles in the French government. The IMF, which includes more than 180 countries, exists to provide financial stability. At their meeting in Brussels, European Union leaders agreed to loan the IMF an additional 200 billion euros ($267 billion).

Photo Source: Reuters

Mario Monti Italian Prime Minister

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti

Born in 1943, Monti is an economist who replaced Silvio Berlusconi as prime minister in November. Italy’s debt is nearing 120% of its economic output, and it has paid record yields to borrow money in recent bond auctions. As the third largest economy in the EU, Italy is of prime concern in stabilizing the global markets.

Photo Source: The Council of the European Union

Herman Van Rompuy, EU

President of the European Union Herman Van Rompuy

Van Rompuy, 64, stepped into his role as the European Council’s president in 2010 after serving as the prime minister of Belgium. The European Council consists of each EU member’s head of state. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have advocated significant changes to the EU treaty to implement strict deficit standards, while Van Rompuy has taken a different path by supporting changes the treaty’s “protocol 12,” which relates to member countries that have excessive deficits, and other EU legislation.

Photo Source: The Council of the European Union

Wolfgang Schauble EU

German Federal Minister for Finance Wolfgang Schauble

A longtime official in the German government, Schauble studied economics and law before joining the German parliament in 1972. In September, he wrote an editorial in the Financial Times supporting austerity as the only solution to the eurozone’s debt woes. More recently, Schauble, a leading economic player for what is seen as the strongest European economy, has voiced concern over whether or not a large bailout can save the euro.

Photo Source: Reuters

Geithner US Treasury Secretary, EU

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

Geithner first worked for the U.S. Treasury Department in 1988, when he joined its International Affairs division. He stepped into his current role in 2009 and was responsible for allocating $350 billion of the TARP bank bailout, which totaled $700 billion. At the meetings in Europe this week, Geithner’s presence is representative of greater U.S. involvement in the ongoing negotiations among European leaders. With the debt crisis in Europe, the euro has declined in value when compared to the U.S. dollar.U.S.Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Photo Source: Reuters

Key Players in the European Debt Crisis

European leaders are racing to save the euro in what has become one of the defining battles in the history of the single currency.  Here are some of the key officials who are steering the negotiations.

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