Saturday

13th Apr 2024

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

Get the EU news that really matters

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.

UK-EU deal on Gibraltar only 'weeks away'

EU and UK negotiators said that a new post-Brexit settlement for Gibraltar was just weeks away from completion following four-way talks in Brussels on Friday (12 April).

Opinion

Calling time on Amazon's monopolism and exploitation

As Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos just reclaimed the title of the richest person on Earth, its workers cannot even take a bathroom break under the pressure of meeting inhumane performance targets.

Resist backlash on deforestation law, green groups tell EU

European environmental groups have urged the EU Commission to stand firm on implementing the bloc's landmark anti-deforestation legislation — despite a backlash from governments in South America, Africa and some EU ministers.

Opinion

Calling time on Amazon's monopolism and exploitation

As Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos just reclaimed the title of the richest person on Earth, its workers cannot even take a bathroom break under the pressure of meeting inhumane performance targets.

Latest News

  1. UK-EU deal on Gibraltar only 'weeks away'
  2. Belgium declares war on MEPs who took Russian 'cash'
  3. Brussels Dispatches: Foreign interference in the spotlight
  4. Calling time on Amazon's monopolism and exploitation
  5. Resist backlash on deforestation law, green groups tell EU
  6. China's high-quality development brings opportunities to the world
  7. Ukraine tops aid list again, but EU spending slumps
  8. Who did Russia pay? MEPs urge spies to give names

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us