Bolkestein regrets supporting euro

26th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

26 May 2005, AMSTERDAM — Fits Bolkestein has said he would not have backed the introduction of the euro had he known France and Germany were going to ignore the stability pact that underpins the currency.

26 May 2005

AMSTERDAM — Fits Bolkestein has said he would not have backed the introduction of the euro had he known France and Germany were going to ignore the stability pact that underpins the currency.

The former Dutch European Commissioner for Internal Markets was speaking on current affairs programme Nova on Wednesday night.

Bolkestein — who is known for speaking his mind despite the potential political repercussions — led the Dutch Liberal Party (VVD) from 1990 to 1998.

He was appointed to the European Commission a year later and served until 2004 when he retired and Irish politician Charlie McCreevy took over the internal markets portfolio.

While still a European commissioner, Bolkestein unsuccessfully resisted the Commission's decision not to impose sanctions on countries that breached the stability pact.

The pact commits the 12 eurozone countries to keeping their annual budget deficits under 3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Recalling on Nova that he supported the replacement of the Dutch guilder with the euro, Bolkestein said: "If I had known then what I know now, I would not have advised my party [VVD] to vote for the currency".

Bolkestein is publishing a diary which will cast a critical eye on his time as a European commissioner within the EU's bureaucracy in Brussels on Thursday.

He emphasised unhappiness with the euro is no reason to vote against the EU Constitution in the Dutch referendum on 1 June.

He also told Nova he is putting the finishing touches to a scenario for a television movie. The plot involves a state secretary, the Dutch equivalent to a junior minister, and a murder.

He stressed that it is pure fiction and is not based on reality.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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