Duisenberg, Willem Frederik

Duisenberg, Willem Frederik, 1935–2005, Dutch banker and advocate of European monentary union. He worked (1965–69) as an economist with the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C., and was subsequently (1970–73) a professor of macroeconomics at the Univ. of Amsterdam. Leaving academia, Duisenberg became known as an inflation-fighter while serving as finance minister (1973–77) under Social Democrat Joop den Uyl, and presided over a flourishing Dutch economy as (1982–97) head of the central bank. In 1998, Duisenberg was appointed the first president of the European Central Bank, serving in that post until 2003. During his tenure he championed the single European currency, overseeing the change in the European Monetary System from individual national monies to the euro.

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