Friday, February 10, 2012

Jean-Claude Juncker

Jean-Claude Juncker (born 9 December 1954) is a Luxembourg politician, 23rd and current Prime Minister of Luxembourg, since 20 January 1995. He is the longest standing head of government of any European Union state. He has been President of the Euro Group, the political control over the euro currency, since the creation of a semi-permanent position in 2005.

Elected to the Chamber of Deputies for the Christian Social People's Party in 1984, Juncker was immediately promoted to Jacques Santer's cabinet as Minister for Work. He was Luxembourg's Minister for Finances from 1989 to 2009, and became Prime Minister when Santer became President of the European Commission in 1995. In his capacity of Prime Minister, he also served two six-month terms as President of the European Council, in 1997 and 2005.

Early Life and Education
Juncker was born in Redange and spent most of his childhood in Belvaux. His father had fought in World War II after being forcibly recruited into the Wehrmacht, and was a steelworker and a member of the Confederation of Christian Trade Unions. Juncker studied at Clairefontaine in Belgium before returning to Luxembourg to attain his baccalaureate in the Lycée Michel Rodange. Around that time, in 1974, he joined the Christian Social People's Party. Juncker went on to study law at the University of Strasbourg, attaining a Master of Law degree in 1979. Although he was sworn into the Luxembourg Bar Council in 1980, he never practised as a lawyer.

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