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Sun 4 Dec 2011 06:02 PM

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Delors says euro flawed from start, blames leaders

Former European Commission boss played key role in process leading to the currency's birth

Delors says euro flawed from start, blames leaders
Jacques Delors was the man who laid much of the groundwork for the Euros introduction

Errors made when the euro was first created effectively doomed the single currency from the start to the spiraling debt crisis it now finds itself in, Jacques Delors, the man who laid much of the groundwork for its introduction, said last week.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, the former European Commission president also accused European leaders of doing "too little, too late," to support the single currency.

He spoke out on the day when France and Germany appeared to be finding consensus that euro zone economies need to be bound more closely together if the currency is to survive.

Delors said the crisis stems from "a fault in execution" by the political leaders who oversaw the euro in its early days.

The 86-year-old Frenchman, who led the commission from 1985-95 and played a central role in the process that led to its creation in 1999, said officials chose to turn a blind eye to the weaknesses and imbalances of some member states' economies.

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

In his first British newspaper interview for almost a decade, Delors said that all European countries must share the blame for the crisis.

"Everyone must examine their consciences," he said.

However, he singled out Germany for its strict insistence that the European Central Bank must not support debt-stricken members for fear of fueling 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," he added.

He also said he shared some of the concerns and expressed by British politicians and economists about the currency before it was created.

When "Anglo-Saxons" said that a single central bank and currency without a single state would be inherently unstable, "they had a point," the paper quoted him as saying.

In an October interview with French daily Le Monde, he said European treaties should be modified to allow countries to be kicked out of the currency.

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