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“The euro is no longer under existential threat,” said Herman Van Rompuy three weeks ago. “Financial stability has been restored”. Van Rompuy, if you can’t place the name, is President of the European Union. That makes him the most senior policy-maker in Brussels, wielding considerable power over the governments of 28 countries with a combined population exceeding 500m people.

Despite this reality, Van Rompuy has a near-zero public profile. He’s probably best known, not only in the UK but across much of Western Europe, for being the man that UKIP leader Nigel Farage once described as having “the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk”.

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