PRESS RELEASE

Decoration for Dr. Willem F. Duisenberg, President of the European Central Bank

2 April 2003

The President of the Republic of Italy has decorated the President of the European Central Bank, Dr. Willem F. Duisenberg, with the Cavaliere di Gran Croce dell'Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy).

Dr. Duisenberg received the award from the President of the Republic of Italy, His Excellency, Dr. Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, at a ceremony at the President's palace in Rome today.

Dr. Duisenberg thanks the President of the Republic of Italy for this recognition by one of the founding countries of the European Community. He regards this highly prestigious award as an appreciation for the work of all those who have contributed to the process of European monetary integration.

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