“We are clearly confronted with a tension within the system, the ill-famous dilemma of being a monetary union and not a full-fledged economic and political union. This tension has been there since the single currency was created. However, the general public was not really made aware of it.”
– European Council President, Herman Van Rompuy, 25th May 2010.
I remember Neil Kinnock extolling the advantages of only needing one currency to take you to many holiday destinations – it was probably the only advantage he was aware of and as it has now turned out he was absolutely right! The EC President has confirmed, what anyone with an ounce of common knew all along, that the euro was a political plaything and they got it completely wrong.
For further quotes in a similar vein I recommend Open Europe’s latest publication that you can get via the link below. It won’t spoil your reading if I give you a few more snippets.
“The single currency, far from being an agent of continental style corporatism, is
probably the greatest export vehicle of Anglo-Saxon economics. The euro has done
more to enforce budgetary discipline, to promote privatisation and force through labour
and product market liberalisation in the rest of Europe than any number of exhortations
from the IMF, the OECD, or the editors of The Economist”.
– Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg, 2002
“The reality of the euro has exposed the absurdity of many anti-European scares while
increasing the public thirst for information. Public opinion is already changing […] as
people can see the success of the new currency on the mainland and the alarming fall in
inward investment into Britain as international companies show an increasing reluctance
to locate here”.
– Kenneth Clarke MP, 2002
“The euro has been a rock of stability, as illustrated by the contrasting fortunes of
Iceland and Ireland. Joining the single currency would be a major step”.
– Former Labour MEP Richard Corbett, 2009
If that doesn’t make you weep the following quote from the Commissioner of the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will leave you wondering which century you are in. Trades may be carried out faster than the blink of an eye but the watchdog charged with overseeing the US futures markets has admitted that they are still in the dark ages.
In remarks at a CFTC hearing on Wednesday, Mr O’Malia highlighted how behind the agency was, saying: “Unfortunately, here at the Commission, we struggle to keep pace with technological advances as we continue to receive account data via facsimile and enter that data manually.” Well I never…and the last one through the door at night blows the candles out.
Open Europe link http://www.openeurope.org.uk/research/eurotheysaidit.pdf