Italian economist Tommaso Padoa Schioppa, one of the intellectual architects of the euro and a member of the European Central Bank’s first executive board, has died. He was 70.

Padoa Schioppa, Economy Minister under Premier Romano Prodi, died on Saturday night after suffering a heart attack during a dinner with friends, according to one of those present, his onetime deputy Vincenzo Visco. The unexpected death stunned Italy’s political and business elite.

During his seven year term at the ECB, Padoa Schioppa was one of the six members charged with guiding the euro through its first vital years after being introduced in 11 member nations on January 1, 1999.

More recently, the Greek government tapped him to help deal with the country’s debt crisis.

Keywords: European Union

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