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Jean-Claude Juncker

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Jean-Claude Juncker

Jean-Claude Juncker (born December 9, 1954) is the Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Luxembourg, and is the current president of the European Council until July 1, 2005, a position he also previously held in 1997

He studied law at the University of Strasbourg and is a barrister. He became an MP in 1984, and then became a minister later that year. He was appointed Finance Minister on July 13, 1989, and Prime Minister on January 20 1995, in both positions to succeed Jacques Santer.

He is a member of the Christian Social People's Party. His government survived parliamentary elections in June 1999 and June 2004. The CPSP won 19 of the 60 seats in 1999, and gained 5 seats in 2004 for a total of 24. The gains are partly due to Juncker's popularity. Although he is talked about as a prospective new president of the European Commission, he has consistently denied wanting to leave his job as prime minister of Luxembourg.

On September 10, 2004 Mr Juncker became the semi-permanent President of the group of finance ministers from the 12 countries that share the euro, a role dubbed "Mr Euro". His new role will provide a link between the euro zone and the European Central Bank and he will chair the monthly meetings of the group.

Quotations

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Jean-Claude Juncker with George W. Bush
  • "If ridiculousness could kill, the streets of Brussels would be piled high with dead bodies." —Commenting on the infighting between EU institutions on the occasion of U.S. President Bush's February 2005 visit to Europe. Juncker, as EU Council President at the time, was charged with making preparations for the visit.
  • "We decide on something, leave it lying around and wait and see what happens. If no one kicks up a fuss, because most people don't know what has been decided, we continue step by step until there is no turning back." —Juncker describing the way the EU works ("Der Spiegel", 52/1999, S. 136)

External links

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