From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
The principal actors
Jose Manuel Barroso
President of the European Commission since 2004 (website). Previously Prime Minister of Portugal and leader of its Social Democratic Party.
Former Prime Minister of Italy (2008-2011 and two previous terms).
Pedro Passos Coelho
Prime Minister of Portugal since June 2011. Economics graduate and former businessman. Leader of the Social Democratic Party.
Born 1954. Chancellor of Germany since 2005 (Economist profile website). Leader of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union and head of a coalition with the centre-right Free Democratic Party since re-elected in 2009 (the next elections are due in 2013). Under international pressure to rescue Greece and under domestic pressure  to abandon it (a poll conducted in September 2011 by the Forsa Institute, 80% of Germans are against rescuing Greece). Her approval rating dropped to 36 per cent in August 2011, compared with 60 per cent 3 years previously, but had recovered to 66 per cent by July 2012
Prime Minister of Italy from 14 November 2011. Distinguished Italian economist.(FT profile) Studied economics at Yale under James Tobin. Former Chancellor and Professor of Political Economy at Bocconi University. European Commissioner for Competition from 1999 to 2004. Founder of the Bruegel economics think-tank and founder member of the Spinelli Group which seeks to promote greater European integration. (Attitudes to the crisis).
French finance minister since May 2012. A social democrat and economics graduate who is said to be opposed to Angela Merkel's austerity policy. (Reuters profile)
Former Prime Minister of Greece from 10th November 2011 until 6th June 2012. Distinguished Greek economist and former vice president of the European Central Bank. Fiscal conservative. As President of the Greek central bank he negotiated Greek's entry to the eurozone. (BBC profile).
Prime Minister of Spain since November 2011. Leader of the Partido Popular (PP) conservative party. Interior Minister and other ministerial posts in the Aznar governments of 1996-2004 (website) (BBC profile).
Leader of the European Comission's Greece task force since July 2011. Previously Vice President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs since 2010. (website)
Prime Minister of Greece since 20th June 2012. An economist and politician who had been leader of New Democracy, Greece's major conservative party and main opposition party, from 2009 until June 2012 when it became the largest of Greek's parliamentary parties(BBC Profile). He now heads a coalition comprising New Democracy, Pasok (Socialists) and the smaller "Democratic Left".
Former President of France since 2007-2012 website. A lawyer by training. Previously president of the centre-right Union pour un Mouvement Populaire.
German Finance Minister since 2009. Former leader of the Christian Democratic Union. Studied economics and law before qualifying as a lawyer and entering the tax administration office in the southern state of Baden Würtemberg. (FT profile) (interviews) (website).
Professor of Economics at the University of Munich nd President of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research. He also serves on the German economy ministry’s Advisory Council. His book Can Germany be Saved? is one of the most widely read public-policy books in recent German history. (Publications)(Interview)
Former Prime Minister of Portugal (2004-2011). Leader of the Socialist Party. Succeeded as Prime Minister by Pedro Passos Coelho in June 2011.
Italian Finance Minister since 2005. Professor of Law. Has a reputation for fiscal prudence. Weakened by rumoured connection with a graft scandal in 2011.
Former president of the European Central Bank (2003-2011).
Herman van Rompuy
President of the European Union, January 2010 t0 May 2012. Former Prime Minister of Belgian since 2008 (BBC profile)
Greek Finance Minister since June 2011. Socialist Party member. Constitutional lawyer. Rival to George Papandreou. (BBC profile)
German Bundesbank (central bank) President since May 2011. Formerly principal economic advisor to Angela Merkel (Reuters profile). Opposed to the use of the European Central Bank as lender of last resort to governments.
Christian Wilhelm Walter Wulff
President of Germany since June 2010. Formerly Premier of Lower Saxony. Member of the Christian Democratic Union.
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero
Former Prime Minister of Spain 2008 to 2011 website. Leader of the ruling Socialist Party.
- ↑ Merkel's Government Remains Divided on Euro Policy, Spiegel, 15 September 2011
- ↑ Angela Merkel, Forbes, August 2011
- ↑ Gerrit Wiesmann Merkel’s public approval ratings soar, July 6, 2012
- ↑ Anthony Williams: Horst Reichenbach named head of EU Comission task force, EBRD, 20 July 2011