Monday, 31 May 2010

Trichet asked about Anglo Saxon plot against the euro

The following quotes come from an interview with Jean Claude Trichet, President of the ECB on May 31st 2010.

Perhaps the most significant comment comes in the context of the conduct of the financial services industry with this very outspoken view:

I am deeply concerned by this gulf between the values of our democracies and those of the financial world, reflected particularly in the abnormal behaviours observed so often in recent years. This problem is faced by all of our democratic societies, and certainly on both sides of the Atlantic. The values of the financial world must change. In the prevailing ethos, they will no longer be tolerated as they are.

Not surprisingly Monsieur Trichet would not be baited into a discussion about a Plan B should Greece "fail".

If, for some reason, Greece does not honour its commitments, might there be a need for a “plan B”?

That is not part of our working assumption. Greece must and will honour its commitments. The European Commission, together with the ECB on the one hand and the IMF on the other, is following developments in the recovery programme very closely.

And finally, just to set the context for this rather remarkable question, the interview took place between M. Trichet and three French journalists

Sometimes, one imagines a sort of Anglo-Saxon plot against the euro. What do you think of this?

No, one should be wary of any conspiracy theories. I simply believe that some international investors struggle to understand Europe and its decision-making mechanisms. They have difficulty in gauging the historical size of the European construction and in anticipating the capacity of Europeans to take decisions that are just as important as those taken a few days ago.

It takes a far more febrile imagination to conjure up the notion of an Anglo-Saxon plot to attack the euro than it does to imagine that the structural weaknesses of a currency union without a political union, could ultimately see the EMU falling apart.

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