Letter: Airing EMU

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The article "How we will learn to love the euro" (25 January) states that "the chances are that public hostility to EMU will fall further in the coming year". If this happens it will be because the Government continues to stifle any meaningful debate on EMU as it has up until now.

Your accompanying graph tells this dismal story. Open debate on Europe before the election allowed voters to draw their own conclusions and opposition to closer political integration duly increased. Since then that debate has been suppressed. Press coverage of only two issues - the fudging of the convergence criteria and Oskar Lafontaine's promise to harmonise European taxes - have broken through the "economic" spin which the Government applies to EMU. This spin was exemplified by the solely economic basis of the Chancellor's five tests for EMU.

Your graph shows not the public's growing approval of EMU but the increasing extent to which government intervention is beguiling the British people about this crucial issue. It is time the Government told the British people the truth.



European Foundation

London SW1