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Europe's 10 Richest People

As the European debt crisis deepens, many ordinary citizens have felt the impact of deep cuts to government benefits combined with cuts in public- and even the private-sector wages. But crisis-hit Europe is also home to many ultra-wealthy individuals whose personal fortunes are on the rise.

While Spain may soon require a full bailout, one of its citizens recently became the wealthiest person in the euro zone with a personal fortune of $40.2 billion, according to Wealth-X, a provider of intelligence on ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals. Four more of Europe’s richest are French, with combined fortunes of $72.7 billion.

It is unsurprising that calls to tax the euro zone's wealthiest members are gaining traction. New French president Francois Hollande is doubling taxes for those with assets valued above 4 million euros ($4.9 million) and in Germany a new plan is being floated calling for a “forced loan” program, in which the wealthy lend money to their governments, to be paid back over time.

Click ahead to find out who are the ten richest people in the euro zone and how they made their money.

By Bianca Schlotterbeck
Posted 26th of July 2012

Photo: iStock