|Jacques Delors singled out Germany as the biggest stumbling block in finding a swift solution to the crisis [EPA]|
One of the main architects of the euro has said the eurozone was “flawed from the very beginning”.
Jacques Delors, who headed the European Commission from 1985 to 1995 in an interview with Britain’s Daily Telegraph, said “over-optimism shown by the euro’s creators meant the current debt crisis was inevitable”.
Delors blamed the crisis on “a fault in execution” by politicians during the currency’s early days, particularly their refusal to acknowledge the threat caused by imbalances in the economies of member states.
“Everyone must examine their consciences,” said the former French politician.
“The finance ministers did not want to see anything disagreeable which they would be forced to deal with,” he added.
The comments come amid growing doubts over the viability of the eurozone.
Delors, who was a key player in creating the framework for the euro’s 1999 launch, singled out Germany as the
biggest stumbling block in finding a swift solution to the crisis.
“A combination of the stubbornness of the Germanic idea of monetary control and the absence of a clear vision from all the other countries” was responsible for the ongoing situation, he argued.
The former commissioner also accepted that “Anglo-Saxon” politicians and economists “had a point” when they warned that a single currency and central bank could not bring economic stability to a union of nations.
Delors also accused current European leaders of amplifying the crisis by doing “too little, too late”, in his first
interview with a British newspaper for almost a decade.
In an eagerly awaited speech in the German parliament on Friday, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the stakes could hardly be higher, warning that the future of the euro was “indivisibly linked to the unification of Europe.”
Germany has come under fire over its refusal to allow the European Central Bank to create new money in order to buy government bonds from at-risk countries, fearing rampant inflation.
She and the French President Nicolas Sarkozy have called for EU treaty changes.
The two are to meet on Monday, to agree on joint proposals to be put to a meeting of European leaders on December 9.