Jacques Delors: Euro was flawed from beginning


Jacques Delors believes politicians are doing too little too late

One of the main architects of the single European currency, Jacques Delors, has said the eurozone was flawed from the beginning.

He told Britain's Daily Telegraph that the lack of central powers to co-ordinate economic policies allowed some members to run up unsustainable debt.

As head of the European Commission from 1985 to 1995, he played a key role in the process that launched the euro.

The comments come amid growing doubts over the viability of the eurozone.

In his interview with the Daily Telegraph, Mr Delors says the debt crisis stems not from the idea of a single currency itself, but from "a fault in execution" by political leaders who oversaw its launch.

He says they turned a blind eye to the fundamental weaknesses and imbalances of member states' economies.

"The finance ministers did not want to see anything disagreeable which they would be forced to deal with," the 86-year-old Frenchman says.

Mr Delors insists that all European countries must share the blame for the debt crisis - which has led to fears for the survival of the euro.

"Everyone must examine their consciences," he says.

'Too little, too late'

Commenting on those - like the British - who objected to euro membership by saying the currency could not work without a state, Mr Delors said: "They had a point."

The reaction of the current generation of EU leaders, he added, has been "too little, too late".

Nigel Farage of the British eurosceptic UKIP party voices concerns over eurozone crisis

In particular Mr Delors identified "a combination of the stubbornness of the Germanic idea of monetary control, and the absence of a clear vision from all the other countries".

The BBC's Chris Morris in Brussels says the comments come ahead of a critical week for the eurozone.

On Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe was working towards setting up a "fiscal union", in an effort to impose budget discipline by members.

She and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have called for EU treaty changes.

The two are to meet on Monday, to agree on joint proposals to be put to a meeting of European leaders next week.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 604.

    The architects of the Euro had another agenda from the start. There was no way a common currency could ever work unless participating countries had a single fiscal policy.

    Frau Merkel is now saying they need 'fiscal union' - but that that is impossible while each country has its own democratic government. A European superstate led by Germany with French collaboration was always the real plan.

  • rate this

    Comment number 278.

    The concept of a common currency is fine, but as soon as you begin looking at the wildly varying income streams of the participating nations it makes no sense to integrate at the level of the state. It can NEVER work. Federal oversight of government performance and Integration at the level of the citizen, with free movement and equal access to life opportunities is the only way to make this work.

  • rate this

    Comment number 167.

    How can a common currency work without a common earnings/taxation/cost of living policy throughout? Its like a litre of fuel costing £1 in England and £1.50 in Scotland, as is evident when one travels through European countries. It was recently reported that remaining in the EU costs us £50 million a day! This would go a long way towards solving our own fiscal problems if we came out.

  • rate this

    Comment number 159.

    Delors can say what the problem is but its never too late! The Eurozone can still resolve the problem. I believe central control is a good idea so that the likes of Greece and any other do not spend money they dont have.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Anyone with a little intelligence has known this since the beginning, but our "leaders" have always denied it. Kudos to M. Delors for coming clean at last.

    Now will the rest of them kindly own up to the big deception and start the process of unravelling it in a controlled manner rather than waiting for the inevitable disaster?


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