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By Valerie Caton

Why did France, with its powerful feel of nationwide identification, are looking to hand over the Franc for the Euro? Drawing at the author's adventure as a British diplomat in Paris and on new archive facts, this ebook explores how France's force for ecu financial and fiscal Union arose from the demanding situations posed by way of risky worldwide monetary markets, the political calls for of a emerging city heart type and the recovery of Germany's monetary power. It strains the unresolved Franco-German tensions over the layout and political governance of ecu fiscal co-operation which resulted in problem, and asks no matter if this formidable ecu venture can nonetheless turn into the strength for modernisation and development, and the guard opposed to the extremes of globalisation and nationalism, that France's leaders was hoping it might be.

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Sample text

On 19 August 1989, Hungary had opened its borders to East Germans fleeing their teetering regime and making their way to West Germany in the hope of a better life. By early November, the pressure for political freedom had become unstoppable, and on 9 November, East Germany opened the crossing points in Berlin, and the Berlin Wall was breached forever. Now it was up to Chancellor Kohl to manage the historic change he had long foreseen and hoped for and to meet the aspirations of East and West Germans for a new life together.

In place of early treaty change, it proposed after stage one of the Delors plan a gradual, market-driven approach involving closer economic and monetary co-ordination to strengthen the existing European Monetary System, whose exchange rate mechanism should include all European currencies. The paper included a UK commitment to bring sterling into the mechanism once inflation was sufficiently reduced to allow this. 16 On 18 November, Mitterrand convened a meeting of European Community Heads of State and Government in Paris to discuss the latest political developments in Europe.

In practice, Chirac’s government extended its Socialist predecessor’s financial market reforms. Even his moves to open up State-owned enterprises to private capital, though publicly contested by the Left, were in line with the logic of Mitterrand’s economic choices, and would not be reversed when the Socialists later returned to power. By late 1987, as the May 1988 Presidential elections approached, Mitterrand had every reason to be satisfied with the turn of events. He had recovered from the political low point of his Presidency – the humiliating 1983 domestic policy U-turn – and France’s economic recovery was at last feeding through into rising political support for the Socialists and for his Presidency.

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