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Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, architect of euro currency, dies at 70

December 18, 2010 |  5:05 pm

Schioppa Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, an architect of the euro currency and a founding member of the European Central Bank's executive board, has died. He was 70.

Padoa-Schioppa died after suffering a heart attack Friday night in Rome, the newspaper La Repubblica reported.

Padoa-Schioppa, who fought for the single currency as a catalyst for European integration, served on the central bank's executive board from 1999 until 2005. He was deputy director general of the Bank of Italy for 13 years and was named finance minister under Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi in May 2006, a position he kept until the government collapsed in January 2008.

"Our new currency unites not only economies, but also the people of Europe," he said in June 1999, six months after the euro's launch. "The society with these unifying bonds is now the European society, and not only a national society: this, I think, represents a profound change in human history."

Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa was born July 23, 1940, in Belluno, Italy. His father, Fabio Padoa-Schioppa, worked in insurance and was a schoolteacher. He studied at the Bocconi University in Milan, where he got a degree in economics in 1966, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was fluent in German and English.

In 1988, Padoa-Schioppa served as joint secretary to the Delors Committee, named after the then-president of the European Commission, investigated how European Union countries could remove all common trade barriers by introducing a single currency. The committee came up with a three-stage plan that was later included in a 1992 treaty that instituted the single currency.

Padoa-Schioppa called the euro "a currency without a state."

-- Bloomberg News

Photo: Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa in New York earlier this month.

Credit: Jim Lee / Bloomberg