Who Are These People? A Quick Guide To Everyone Who Matters In The European Crisis

Sarkozy Merkel

Photo: AP

As the European sovereign debt crisis continues to unfold, with Italy looking riskier and riskier to investors, we thought we would put together a list of the most important players in the European Sovereign Debt crisis.We’ve listed finance ministers, movers and shakers in the European Union, and heads of governments that have the most important roles in solving the crisis in the world’s largest economy.

Keep your Bini-Smaghis and Junckers separate after reading this list.

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Euro Group, Prime Minister of Luxembourg

Name: Jean-Claude Juncker

Country of Origin: Luxembourg.

Why he matters: The eurogroup is a meeting of all the finance ministers in the European Union, and Juncker is supposed to lead them. Juncker is also known to make comments about Greece, and Angela Merkel that have moved markets.

Mario Draghi, Future President of the European Central Bank, Current Governor of the Bank of Italy

Name: Mario Draghi

Country of Origin: Italy

Why he was included: He will have a big task ahead of him as Trichet's successor in the ECB, and Draghi was called the most influential man in European Finance by Financial News.

Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, European Central Bank Executive Board Member

Name: Lorenzo Bini-Smaghi

Country of Origin: Italy

Why he matters: Bini-Smaghi is a board member of the European Central Bank and an active commenter about Europe's economy. There is talk of him being the new head of the bank of Italy when Draghi moves to the ECB.

Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Union

Name: Herman Van Rompuy

Country of Origin: Belgium

Why he matters: Rompuy is the first president of the European Union, and he has organised emergency talks about rescue packages for PIIGS countries.

Elena Salgado, Minister of Finance for Spain

Name: Elena Salgado

Country of Origin: Spain

Why she matters: Salgado is the finance minister for Spain, the 'S' in PIIGS, and the country with the highest unemployment rate in the eurozone.

Giulio Tremonti, Minister of Economy and Finance for Italy

Name: Giulio Tremonti

Country of Origin: Italy

Why he matters: Investors are starting to become increasingly worried about Italy. Also, Tremonti has been having problems lately including a dispute with Berlusconi and being linked to an arrested politician. Talk that he will leave his post has been causing fluctuations in the markets in Italy.

Christine Lagarde, Head of the IMF

Name: Christine Lagarde

Country of Origin: France

Why she matters: Lagarde was the former finance minster for France, and as the new head of the IMF, she will be in charge of the joint EU/IMF bailouts for Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

Wolfgang Schäuble, German Finance Minister

Name: Wolfgang Schäuble

Country of Origin: Germany

Why he matters: Germany is the country that will be paying the most into the bailouts, and Schauble has talked a 'hard line' about conditions for future bailouts.

Evangelos Venizelos, Greek Minister of Finance

Name: Evangelos Venizelos

Country of Origin: Greece

Why he matters: As of June 17th, he replaced George Papaconstantinou as the finance minister for Greece, the first eurozone country to need a bailout.

Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs

Name: Olli Rehn

Country of Origin: Finland

Why he matters: As the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Rehn is tasked with the heavy responsibility of looking after the EU's economic, fiscal and monetary affairs, and getting the EU's public finances back in order.

Michael Noonan, Finance Minister for Ireland

Name: Michael Noonan

Country of Origin: Ireland

Why he matters: As the Finance Minister for Ireland, Noonan has to look after Ireland's economy with the conditions put on it by the bailout it needed from the EU.

Jean Claude Trichet, Head of the European Central Bank

Name: Jean-Claude Trichet

Country of Origin: French

Why he matters: Trichet has a crucial role in solving the soveriegn debt crisis in his role as head of the European Central Bank.

George Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece

Name: George Papandreou

Country of Origin: Greece

Why he matters: Papandreau had to keep his government together to pass austerity measures to ensure Greece gets the bailout money it needs from the EU and IMF.

Vitor Gaspar Louçã Rabaça, Portuguese Finance Minister

Name: Vitor Gaspar Louçã Rabaça

Country of Origin: Portugal

Why he matters: The new Portuguese finance minister has a lot on his plate, including the recent downgrade of Portuguese bonds to junk.

Vítor Constâncio, Vice President of the European Central Bank

Name: Vitor Constancio

Country of Origin: Portugal

Why he matters: Constancio is Trichet's Number-2 man at the ECB.

Angela Merkel, German Chancellor

Name: Angela Merkel

Country of Origin: Germany

Why she matters: Germany has taken on a leadership role in trying solve the sovereign debt crisis, and there are those to pin down the success or failure of the euro on Merkel's shoulders. George Soros wrote in an op-ed that Merkel shares the blame for the Euro crisis.

Nicholas Sarkozy, President of France

Name: Nicholas Sarkozy

Country of Origin: France

Why he matters: Sarkozy, along with Angela Merkel, has been involved in crafting deals for bailout packages for debt-stricken countries.

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