Euro architect admits currency project had mistakes at the start

Jacques Delors, former European Commission president and one of the architects of the euro, has told Britain’s Telegraph newspaper the common currency project had mistakes from the beginning.

EC president over the decade to 1995, Delors told the paper that he had not made mistakes himself as architect of the euro.

But he said Anglo Saxon economists who said at the time having one central bank meant having one nation “had a point”.

He spoke to the right-leaning paper as German chancellor Angela Merkel gave a landmark speech calling for greater integration, and review of treaties underlying the European project, in a bid to save it.

Delors did not blame individuals for the bloc’s latest troubles, but pointed to what he called “a combination of the stubbornness of the Germanic idea of monetary control and the absence of a clear vision from all the other countries”.

Delors told the Telegraph on Saturday what was needed was shared economic policies “founded on the co-operation of the member states. I said all these things, but I was not heard. I was beaten.”

Delors praised the single currency for bringing the region growth, reform and price stability.

But he added: “The finance ministers did not want to see anything disagreeable which they would be forced to deal with.”

They have no choice now as financial markets have made borrowing all but impossible for some member state governments.

Delors said: “Markets are markets. They are now bedevilled by uncertainty. If you put yourself in the position of investment funds, insurance companies and pension funds, you will understand they are looking for a clear signal.”

Delors added the eurozone must “either accept a greater transfer of sovereignty, or submit to a common discipline”.


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