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Almunia urges 'take the euro further'

brussels bureau

Almunia urges 'take the euro further'


‘Love that cash’ is the underlying message in a keynote speech on the euro, from the European Union’s top monetary official. But Joaquin Almunia says the single currency’s “political and economic success” is underexploited. The world’s reference currency second only to the dollar should have more friends at home.

The Commissioner told the members of the European Parliament that the EU’s institutions had to make citizens aware that the euro has brought them real advantages: “Single strategy, clear strategy, single position, clear priorities, this the first step, and this will take place as a logical consequence of an increased coordination of our domestic economic decisions.”

Almunia said the countries using the euro had to speak with a single voice in international financial bodies, though he steered clear of exchange rate policy, which is the remit of the independent European Central Bank.

With the currency marking its tenth anniversary, Almunia’s suggestions will be debated under the French EU presidency in the second half of this year.

Further vaunting the euro’s merits, the Spanish commissioner called it unfair to blame the money for faulty national policies and abusive price rises.

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