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By Valerie Caton

Why did France, with its powerful feel of nationwide identification, are looking to hand over the Franc for the Euro? Drawing at the author's event as a British diplomat in Paris and on new archive proof, this ebook explores how France's force for ecu fiscal and financial Union arose from the demanding situations posed via risky worldwide monetary markets, the political calls for of a emerging city heart category and the recovery of Germany's fiscal power. It lines the unresolved Franco-German tensions over the layout and political governance of eu monetary co-operation which ended in main issue, and asks no matter if this formidable ecu undertaking can nonetheless turn into the strength for modernisation and development, and the safeguard opposed to the extremes of globalisation and nationalism, that France's leaders was hoping it'd be.

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France should take it seriously: ‘Caught in the infernal turbulence of the dollar, fearing for her export markets in Europe, anxious both for her economic security and to affirm the identity of a monetary Europe which, steered by Germany or by the Franco-German partnership, would facilitate relations with the US as well as the opening to the East, Germany is setting a course towards monetary union. I am convinced of it’. Boissieu asserted that Genscher’s ideas were better than those in the recent Balladur memorandum, since they adopted a better balance between monetary stability and growth.

For example, the creation of a European Central Bank System ... would require far-reaching changes to the Bundesbank Act and I do not know whether there would be broad agreement for such changes in the Federal Republic for the foreseeable future’. At the Madrid European Council, to French dismay, Pöhl rather than Genscher appeared to have the ear of the Chancellor, who resisted all attempts by Mitterrand, supported by Spain’s President Gonzales, to press for the immediate calling of an IGC. Behind the apparently technical debate over the timing of the IGC lay deep-seated French concern over whether Kohl was serious about creating the single currency or whether, instead, the Germans’ tactical aim was to spin out the process, extracting French concessions on market liberalisation and economic reform without delivering their side of the deal.

Boissieu asserted that Genscher’s ideas were better than those in the recent Balladur memorandum, since they adopted a better balance between monetary stability and growth. Although they meant France conceding national sovereignty over monetary policy to an independent European Central Bank, the EEC already, Boissieu pointed out, accounted for half of France’s economic activity. Moreover, in the current international monetary context, national governments and parliaments had already lost half of their real powers.

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