Bolkestein warns hanky-panky will hurt euro
5 October 2005, AMSTERDAM — Former European Commissioner and veteran Dutch politician Frits Bolkestein has warned meddling by big EU countries could damage the value of the European currency.
5 October 2005
AMSTERDAM — Former European Commissioner and veteran Dutch politician Frits Bolkestein has warned meddling by big EU countries could damage the value of the European currency.
A man never afraid to speak out, Bolkestein singled out France, Germany and Italy for "misbehaviour" in relation to the criteria underlying the value of the euro.
He made his comments in an interview on Wednesday with 'Forum', the magazine of Dutch employers' group VNO-NCW.
Bolkestein said the euro would face its real test in the coming years as European's population continued to grey with age.
"Italian pensions are not so easy to pay. People will be inclined to borrow money and this will further weaken the EU's currency," he said.
The former leader of the Dutch Liberals (VVD) repeated his claim he would have advised the party to vote against the introduction of the euro had he known then that some of the countries would ignore the Stability Pact on which it is based.
Bolkestein said unhappiness with the euro was an important factor leading to the Dutch public to reject the European Constitution in June. "I also feel cheated," he said.
He also blamed the Dutch coalition government for blunders made by the "yes" campaign. He accused Foreign Minister Ben Bot of saying "dumb things" by advising people who were unsure about the Constitution not to vote at all.
Bolkestein said that the issue should never have been put to a referendum because all sorts of unrelated issues were blended into an incomprehensible "soup".
He also said the member states should negotiate a new treaty and drop the term "constitution" — "because that isn't what it is".
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news