Trichet prepares to take leave from ECB

19th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Europe's political elite gathered here Wednesday for a lavish farewell gala hosted by the European Central Bank to honour President Jean-Claude Trichet, who steps down at the end of this month.

Former French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing and former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt, as well as Europe's current leaders, including Germany's Angela Merkel, European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, European Council chief Herman Van Rompuy, EU Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso and Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker were all guest speakers at a gala in Frankfurt's Alte Oper concert hall.

The two-hour event, held amid high security, started with a short film spanning Trichet's eight-year reign at the head of the ECB, and was to be rounded off by a concert by the Mozart Orchestra under its founder and chief conductor, the legendary Italian maestro Claudio Abbado.

Trichet, who turns 69 in December, is scheduled to hand over to Italy's Mario Draghi on October 31.

© 2011 AFP

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