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Brigita Schmögnerovà

Protests against her austerity package and calls for her resignation have failed to stop Brigita Schmögnerovà from doing the most exciting job she has ever had. By Jonathan Brown

finance ministers
are never popular

It's not every day that a Finance minister or central bank governor can boast of having a beer named in their honour. It's diffcult, for example, to imagine ordering a Duisenberg pils at the bar, or that a Gordon Brown ale will ever compete with the Newcastle variety. But then, Brigita Schmögnerovà is no ordinary Finance minister. When the Topvar brewery saw Fit to market a beverage bearing her name, it was a mark of the esteem in which she is held.

More conventional evidence was the oVer of a UN economic post earlier this year - an oVer turned down, with the Slovak Republic's premier Mikulás Dzurinda insisting that Schmögnerovà was still very much required at home.

Educated in Bratislava, with short periods studying in Athens and Denmark, Schmögnerovà has spent most of her life working as an economist.

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