Monday

28th Sep 2020

Kohl blames euro for election defeat

According to the Electronic Telegraph former German chancellor Helmut Kohl has blamed his 1998 general election defeat on the unpopularity of the euro, admitting that he steamrolled the single currency through against the people's wishes.

The admission that most Germans were against the euro was made in Mr Kohl's memoirs - Helmut Kohl, My Diary 1998-200 - which began on Sunday in Die Welt am Sonntag and which will run as a series in the paper.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

According to the Electronic Telegraph Mr Kohl, who was defeated at the ballot box by Gerhard Schröder's Social Democrats after 16 years as chancellor, said internal economic reforms on tax and pensions were already making his government unpopular in election year.

- The mistrust of wide circles of the people against the reform plans was even more serious because I demanded something from the people at the same time that must have caused great worry in Germany: the renunciation of the mark and transmission to the euro, Mr Kohl said according to the Electronic Telegraph. He added:

- I knew right from the start that this project was to be carried through against severe fears and resistance. At no time during the discussion of Maastricht and the future of Europe was a common European currency a popular project. For the people the economic success of Germany after the war is symbolised by the mark to a great extent.

Mr Kohl maintained that few Germans understood that the introduction of the euro was the most important condition of unity and therefor peace in Europe. To Germans, the mark symbolised their post-war recovery and success. Mr Kohl said:

- In the eyes of the people it stands for prosperity, economic success and security. Therefore the decision for the euro was seen by wide sections of the population as an unreasonable demand.

Kohl confesses to euro's undemocratic beginnings

Former German Chancellor Kohl admitted he would never have won a referendum on the adoption of the euro in his country and said he acted "like a dictator" to see it introduced.

Analysis

Between the lines, Europe's new Moria unfolds

A new five-day screening of migrants at Europe's external borders is meant to expedite people into either 'asylum' or 'return' tracks. The time-limit is wishful thinking and one that could leave people stranded in make-shift camps or even ghettos.

Opinion

Now's the time to give QMV a chance in EU foreign policy

The loudest applause from MEPs during Ursula von der Leyen's State of the Union speech came for her call to move to Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) in foreign policy - at least on human rights and sanctions implementation.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  3. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID-19 halts the 72nd Session of the Nordic Council in Iceland
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCivil society a key player in integration
  6. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular

Latest News

  1. Caucasus warfare prompts EU alarm
  2. Summit reloaded and last Brexit round This WEEK
  3. EU denies 'clandestine' mission on Venezuela election date
  4. Between the lines, Europe's new Moria unfolds
  5. Now's the time to give QMV a chance in EU foreign policy
  6. European hiccups on the way to West Africa
  7. Berlin repeats support for EU human rights sanctions
  8. China's carbon pledge at UN sends 'clear message' to US

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us