Euro launch hailed as “crowning” moment

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Series Details Vol.7, No.47, 20.12.01, p4
Publication Date 20/12/2001
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Date: 20/12/01

THE launch of euro bank notes and coins in less than a fortnight has been hailed as the "most exciting monetary revolution in history" by Belgium's deputy foreign affairs minister.

Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroek described the new currency as the "crowning" of an economic and monetary union.

Speaking as Belgium's six-month presidency draws to a close, she said: "We are at the threshold of a crucial moment in the history of the unification of the EU."

She hopes that the introduction of euro notes and coins in 12 member states on 1 January will herald the start of a new era and lead to economic growth throughout the eurozone.

"The EU represents more than a single currency or one single central bank. We work fully for the development of a European social model, full employment and quality of work," she said. Neyts-Uyttebroek said the "unique challenge" of enlargement would transform thousands of lives.

"Never before, has a union been able to unite all the European States. It is an enlargement without precedents, which awaits us, and this on the basis of free accession for one and all, without constraints," she said.

"All attempts at unifying Europe through force have failed.

"The path of peace, which we have followed for the last 50 years, has shown to be a good choice.

She added: "The actual materialisation of enlargement touches that which forms the very soul of the EU.

"It allows the joining together of the geographical, political and cultural identity of Europe."

  • European Central Bank President Wim Duisenberg officially unveiled the new euro notes at the Laeken summit last Friday (14 December).

Report of comments by Belgium's deputy foreign minister, Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroek who called the launch of euro coins and notes the 'most exciting monetary revolution in history'.

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