Don't bet against the euro: German finance minister

11th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Germany's finance minister Saturday warned speculators on the financial markets not to bet against the euro, as European leaders prepared for a summit next week to shore up the embattled currency.

"Whoever bets his money against the euro will not succeed," Wolfgang Schaeuble told the mass circulation weekly Bild am Sonntag in an interview to appear in Sunday's edition.

"The euro will not fail," added the minister, amid speculation that debt crises in some countries of the 16-nation zone could bring down the currency.

"All those in charge in Europe are agreed: the euro brings us all advantages. And therefore we will successfully defend it," added Schaeuble.

He also set out the stakes if the crises in Ireland and Greece were to spread to Portugal, Spain and others, forcing one of the countries from the eurozone.

"Even if one of the small countries were to leave, the consequences would be incalculable," said the minister.

"And, when I look back at the effects of the Lehman Brothers crash, I say: 'Let's not make the same mistake twice'," he concluded, referring to the collapse of the large US investment bank that sparked the financial crisis.

EU leaders will meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to discuss setting up a permanent crisis fund for the euro area after its current fund expires in 2013.

The EU decided on May 9 to create a 750-billion-euro (992-billion-dollar) joint fund with the International Monetary Fund, a mixture of loans and guarantees from eurozone and EU partners for troubled states.

© 2010 AFP

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