De Jager: Serious mistakes with euro

4th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

The euro was introduced with serious mistakes and many oversights for which Europe is now paying a huge price, Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager has told a television programme.

Earlier this week, one of his predecessors, Hans Hoogervorst of the conservative VVD party, said the euro had failed. The Dutch minority cabinet is made up of the VVD and the Christian Democrats.

Mr De Jager, a Christian Democrat, doesn’t think the euro has failed but says “things should have been done very differently. Europe, he added, should have been far stricter. “We should have never have left it up to people’s goodwill to enforce the rules we have.”

At Friday’s EU summit, Mr De Jager claims, it will be up to southern Europe to deliver. Southern economies have been taking far too long to introduce urgently-needed economic reforms and budget cuts, he argues.

On Saturday, former Labour education minister Ronald Plasterk called for a stronger European Central Bank and measures to curb excesses of the financial markets. In an article published in newspaper NRC, the MP said Europe should be given greater powers, provided it not impose economic policies regarding pensions, labour conditions and wages.

We should not allow the euro zone, Mr Plasterk warns, to be split up, as another senior VVD politician, Frits Bolkestein, suggested a week ago. The same politician, he noted, was himself involved, as European commissioner, cabinet minister and MP, in the very creation of the euro and the grave errors surrounding it.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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