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Rock Star Bono Wins European of the Year Award

Posted on Tuesday, December 04 @ 18:44:59 CET by Macphisto

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Irish rock singer Bono, British Prime Minister Tony Blair (news - web sites) and President Bush (news - web sites) were among winners of ''European of the Year'' awards unveiled by a Brussels weekly magazine on Tuesday.

The top award presented by European Voice went to U2 lead singer Bono for his efforts to promote debt relief for poor countries.

Blair won in the ``leader of the year'' category while Bush was voted the ``non-EU citizen of the year'' who had the biggest impact on the EU in 2001.

A panel of journalists and opinion leaders from across the EU selected 50 nominees for the awards and European Voice readers then voted for the people they felt had most shaped the EU agenda in the past year.

Each of the 10 award winners will receive $4,456 to donate to a charity of their choice.

None of the best-known award winners attended a Brussels ceremony on Tuesday evening.

But in a message read on his behalf by Irish ambassador to the EU Anne Anderson, Bono spoke of the heroism of New York City police, firefighters and medical crews after the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center.

``The only really fitting memorial to the lives that were lost on that day would be not just a safer, less dangerous world but a fairer, more inclusive one...,'' he said.

This was the goal that the Drop the Debt campaign, which lobbies for debt forgiveness for the world's poorest countries, was pursuing, he said.

Bono has supported the work of Drop the Debt and its predecessor, the Jubilee 2000 debt relief campaign.

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