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Christine LagardeBack to OpinionChristine Lagarde

Europe and the euro

PARIS – For anyone living in the 16 eurozone member states, the euro’s enduring success is both a technical and an emotional issue; both hearts and minds are involved. I consider it axiomatic that the euro is vital to Europe and, indeed, to the world economy.

First of all, it should be recalled that the European idea began as a project for ensuring peace and democracy among Europe’s peoples. When the new currency was introduced in 1999 – and even more so when European citizens had their first opportunity to use it in January 2002 – it was experienced as the most tangible, decisive proof that European integration was a reality. As the slogan goes: euro in your wallet, Europe in your pocket.

Twenty years after the European Parliament was elected by universal suffrage in 1979, the introduction of the euro marked a logical extension of the European dream.

It should also be recalled, however, that when Slovenia entered the eurozone in 2007, many people suggested that the country was somehow joining “Old Europe.” But Cyprus, Malta, and Slovakia have since followed suit in making the euro their currency. From Dublin on the shore of the Irish Sea to Bratislava in the foothills of the Carpathians, the same coins and banknotes are legal tender, and they are constantly pushing back the European Union’s boundaries. Tomorrow will bring additional members, such as Estonia, which is slated to join the eurozone on January 1, 2011.

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Christine Lagarde is minister for economy, industry and employment of France.


  • David_henrygsMANN

    Madame La Garde: now that you’re in the World Bank Head Post, and I’ve been trying for weeks to talk to you, I think, even if I did read you’re article, that it’s conventional, has nothing new to add, and might even be considered NOT by fellow Henry Georgist followers, like Dr. Fred Harrison, Ph.D., in Georgist Local/Global Economics, based in London, by ME ONLY, to be extrordinarily dull, dry, and simplistic, and somehow, I personally think, morally bankrupt.   U.K., I, David M. MANN would like to answer you modestly and politely by saying I’m certainly willing to go ON ANY T.V program both in U.S. or European T.V., along with Dr Harrison, who is based in London, U.K.G.B., that France, YOU, Greece, UKGB, and even the U.S.A., must read Henry George’s, AND Robert “Bob” Drake’s Modern Revised Version of Progress & Poverty, and DO the Survey Land Market Study AND DO The Single Economic Rent of Land Value Tax/Ground Rent Collection System, and PLEASE DO NOT rely any more on negotiable securites, currency, or anything else conventional!  If Greece doesn’t stop being a Enfant L’Terrible, everyone should just throw a big, fat, blueberry-whipped cream pie in their faces and tell them to settle down!  I don’t know how many times I asked the Greek government through the excellent offices of the Greek Consulate here in Chicago, and the Greek Embassy to contact the Greek government to have them help me pay my Air-Fare there, and Hotel Room AND Board, and other expenses, to Athens, they just refused, and have been on their selfish, arrogant, infantile temper-tantrum spree ever since!  You see, Madame La Garde, I want to be The Independent Henry George Presidential 2012 candidate for the U.S., France and an Independent M.P in UKGB, so I can prepare, and and be prepared to do The Henry George Way, so this fragile green planet can be still be LIVE-ABLE!  I don’t say all of this to be arrogant, I’m NOT the arrogant & selfish one!  The Top 1 % is!   Here Is My Personal/Presidential Web-Site:   Do Let me know Madame, if you’re willing to diiscuss many of the issues I’ve raised, and don’t forget 2 more–Bernie Maddoff, and how so-called “rebels”, and so-called “governments are actually in league with each other to own & control the land of their countries, including Mexico & other places, & continents, by using  rape as a tool/weapon over women & children!  All this and more, has to stop NOW, Madame La Garde!

  • Arlene

    PBS should change her status to Head of the World Bank now.  I respect her so much. She is so thoughtful in her comments and trustworthy.