Former PM Kok: Europe responded too late

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European government leaders have responded too late, too slowly and insufficiently to the euro crisis, former Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok says.

When the introduced was 10 years ago, Mr Kok said on radio, not enough concrete measures were taken to ensure that sovereign debts would increase any further. “There was no political majority to do so,” according Mr Kok. As finance minister in the early 1990s, Mr Kok was involved in the creation of the euro.

He blames the current government leaders for not taking responsibility for the euro. He also regards the decision process as too untransparent. “I also see fear. No one wants to call a spade a spade. Just say then: ‘we’re not doing it, because we want to help the Greeks.’ We’re doing it because in doing so we also want to help ourselves.”

The former PM urges Europe’s leaders to do more. “I can see there are political tensions and people are inclined to run for cover, but that won’t solve anything. This is the very time we should make a stand, “ Mr Kok concluded.

A former union leader, Mr Kok served as finance minister between 1989 and 1994, and twice as prime minister between 1994 and 2002.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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