ECB head wins prestigious Charlemagne prize
European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet has won this year's prestigious Charlemagne Prize for his efforts to keep the euro stable amid the economic crisis, the prize committee said Saturday.
The annual prize, which last year went to Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, honours contributors to European advancement and is sponsored by the northwestern Germany city of Aachen.
The prize committee said that Frenchman Trichet, who will be 68 on December 20, had been honoured for his contribution "to the cohesion of monetary union, the stability of the euro and the maintenance of competitiveness in Europe."
The prize, which was instituted in 1950, will be presented to Trichet in Aachen next year.
Trichet has headed the ECB since 2003, having previously been president of the Bank of France for 10 years. He is to step down from the Frankfurt-based institution in October 2011,
On Friday he again rose to the defence of the euro, describing it as a "credible" currency that was not in crisis while calling on European leaders to increase rescue funds for struggling states.
Previous recent recipients of the Charlemagne Prize include German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2008), former US president Bill Clinton (2000) and late French president Francois Mitterrand jointly with former German chancellor Helmut Kohl (1988).
© 2010 AFP