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Awards

Finance Minister of the Year 2000: 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.

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. Following the division of Czechoslovakia in 1989, she was appointed an economic adviser to the Fledgling Slovak Republic’s First president. Before taking her present post, she served as a member of parliament in opposition, and she has also spent eight months as deputy prime minister, with specific responsibility for the economy, in a previous temporary administration.

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