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Business

Schröder Pays Tribute to Duisenberg

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and President Horst Köhler both paid tribute Monday to former European Central Bank President Wim Duisenberg who died on Sunday, praising the Dutchman's role in the creation of the euro. "In Germany, Wim Duisenberg did a lot to win sympathy with his imperturbable defense of monetary stability," Schröder wrote in a message of condolence to Duisenberg's widow, Gretta. "He successfully oversaw the greatest monetary changeover ever seen" and "created confidence in the fledgling currency," the chancellor said. President Köhler also said the gruff 70-year-old Dutchman "will not be forgotten" for the way he inspired confidence in the euro. He "made a decisive contribution to the progress of European monetary union," the president said. "I've lost a good friend on whose advice and clear judgment I could always rely," the former IMF chief added in a telegram of condolence to Duisenberg's widow. German Finance Minister Hans Eichel had already lamented the death of Duisenberg on Sunday, saying the world had lost an "expert financier" with an "exceptional" reputation. Duisenberg, 70, who headed the ECB between 1998 and 2003 and oversaw both the launch of the euro and the introduction of euro banknotes and coins, was found lifeless in the pool at his villa in southern France on Sunday.

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