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PRESS RELEASE

Message from the President of the European Central Bank, Mr Jean-Claude Trichet

31 July 2005

The Governing Council, the General Council, the Executive Board and all the members of staff of the European Central Bank are deeply grieved to learn that their former President, Dr Willem F. Duisenberg, has passed away today.

The first President of the European Central Bank played a considerable role in the construction of Europe. He played a decisive role in setting up the monetary institutions in Europe, in the successful launching of the new currency, and in fostering the credibility of and ensuring confidence in our single currency, the euro.

The European Central Bank shares this terrible loss and conveys its heartfelt condolences to his wife, Gretta Duisenberg, and his family.

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Willem F. Duisenberg

Willem F. Duisenberg (*1935-†2005), President of the European Central Bank from 1998 to 2003.