Women to head top EU institutions for first time

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Ursula von der Leyen to head European commission and Christine Lagarde to lead ECB

Two women have won the backing of the EU’s leaders to head the European commission and European Central Bank, breaking with more than 60 years of male dominance at the top of the bloc’s institutions.

After three days of tortuous negotiations, Germany’s defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, received the support of heads of state and government to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the commission in Brussels. And the French managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, will move to Frankfurt to take over from Mario Draghi as the first female president of the ECB once it is formally signed off by the Eurozone group.

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