Former Bundesbank president Hans Tietmeyer dies aged 85

Hans Tietmeyer Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hans Tietmeyer was also a passionate ping pong player

A key architect of the euro and a former Bundesbank president, Hans Tietmeyer, has died aged 85.

He was a driving force behind creating the European Central Bank and the single currency.

Mr Tietmeyer ran Germany's central bank from 1993 until his retirement in 1999.

He was a staunch proponent of keeping prices and currencies stable, as well as safeguarding the independence of central banks from political interference.

"Hans Tietmeyer was an outstanding president, whose actions always followed clear and consistent lines aimed at maintaining monetary stability," Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann said in a statement.

Mr Tietmeyer's tough stance on the economy made him a target of the leftwing extremist Red Army Faction, which claimed responsibility for an assassination attempt on him in 1988.

He survived the attack after the assailant's gun jammed.

Born on August 18, 1931, Mr Tietmeyer was one of eleven children and grew up in the small town of Metelen.

Image copyright Getty Images

A devout Catholic, he once considered entering the priesthood, before going on to earn a doctorate in economics and social science.

Government opposition

Mr Tietmeyer began his career as a junior official in the German economics ministry and rose through the ranks to become deputy finance minister under former chancellor Helmut Kohl.

He joined the Bundesbank executive board in 1990 and ran it during a critical period following German reunification.

Mr Tietmeyer notably opposed the German government in 1997 over its plans to revalue the country's gold reserves to plug a budget shortfall.

The way he ran the Bundesbank and his approach to budgetary discipline influenced the model for the ECB, which sets limits for government deficits.

"Germany and Europe have much to thank Hans Tietmeyer for," former ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet once said in a speech.

"He was resolute in ensuring that the euro would be a stable currency."

More on this story