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Mario Draghi signed off as president of the European Central Bank (ECB) last week with a warning that the eurozone faces persistent “prominent downside risk” and with a defiant defence of the “irreversible” euro. He can take some credit for the latter, thanks to an unorthodox and largely successful tenure. His successor, Christine Lagarde, will need to channel some of that energy to meet some very different challenges.

Draghi began his eight years at the bank by reversing the rate hikes of his predecessor, Jean-Claude Trichet, but his term is most readily defined by three simple words: uttered during a speech in London in 2012, the promise that the ECB would do “whatever it takes” was a full stop to a moment of fear in markets, when the debt position of countries such as Italy and Spain seemed such as it might topple the eurozone itself...

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