Delors attacks euro's "fault in execution"

 

The eurozone was flawed from the beginning and efforts to tackle its problems have so far been "too little too late", the architect of the single currency has said.

Jacques Delors, former President of the European Commission, suggested that "a fault in execution" had doomed the euro to its present crisis.

Leaders in the 1990s chose to turn a blind eye to the economic weaknesses of some member states, and the response now the issues had surfaced had generally been inadequate.

The intervention, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, came as France and Germany edged towards closer fiscal union to head off a potentially disastrous collapse of the single currency.

Mr Delors, head of the commission from 1985 to 1995 and known for his clashes with Margaret Thatcher, admitted that when "Anglo-Saxons" warned that a single central bank and currency without a single state would be inherently unstable "they had a point".

"The finance ministers did not want to see anything disagreeable which they would be forced to deal with," he said.

Mr Delors insisted that all European countries had to share the blame for excessive borrowing by countries such as Italy and Greece that have brought the system to the brink of disaster.

"Everyone must examine their consciences," he added.

However, the 86-year-old singled out Germany for its strict insistence that the European Central Bank must not support debt-stricken members for fear of fuelling inflation.

The euro's troubles spring from "a combination of the stubbornness of the Germanic idea of monetary control and the absence of a clear vision from all the other countries".

Such is the scale of the crisis, he warned, that "even Germany" will struggle to find a solution. "Markets are markets. They are now bedevilled by uncertainty."

According to Mr Delors, Britain is not "sharing the burden" because it is not in the euro.

But he claimed that the UK is "just as embarrassed as the Europeans by the financial crisis", as some of the measures put in place to deal with the crisis pose a threat to British interests.

For example, the creation of common "Eurobond" underwritten by all eurozone governments and traded in Paris and Frankfurt would be a "big worry" for the City of London.

"I can see Mr Cameron's worries," he said.

The Prime Minister held talks in Paris yesterday with President Nicolas Sarkozy ahead of next week's crunch EU summit. PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
tv'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there