British Foreign Secretary William Hague Condemns Crumbling Euro As A ‘Historical Monument To Collective Folly’, Says Euro Is A ‘Burning Building With No Exits’ Claim Is Correct


WILLIAM Hague risked breaking Coalition ranks over Europe yesterday by condemning the crumbling euro as a “historical monument to collective folly”.

The Foreign Secretary suggested that the crisis-hit currency was doomed and called for Britain to grab more powers back from Brussels.

And he acknowledged that the crisis had vindicated his opposition to Britain joining the euro when he was Tory leader a decade ago.

Mr Hague told the Spectator magazine: “It was folly to create this system, it will be written about for centuries as a kind of historical monument to collective folly. But it’s there and we have to deal with it.”

He went on to suggest there was little hope of easing the euro crisis by allowing the Greek government to default on some of its debts in an “orderly” manner.

Euro Is ‘Burning Building With No Exits,’ Hague Tells Spectator (Bloomberg, Sep. 28, 2011)

Hague says euro ‘burning building’ claim correct (Financial Times, , Sep. 28, 2011)

Euro IS a burning building with no exits, says Hague as his warning of 13 years ago is proved right (Daily Mail, Sep. 30, 2011):

William Hague today compares the euro to a ‘burning building with no exits’ as he warns that Europe threatens to become a ‘dividing line’ in the Coalition.

The Foreign Secretary labels the currency a ‘historic monument to collective folly’ and calls for the EU to give more powers back to Britain.

His attack — reprising comments he first made in 1998 — comes after José Manuel Barroso, head of the European Commission, warned the EU was facing its ‘greatest challenge’ and called for closer economic unification to tackle the debt crisis.

In an interview with The Spectator, Mr Hague says: ‘It was folly to create this system, it will be written about for centuries as a kind of historical monument to collective folly. But it’s there and we have to deal with it.‘I described the euro as a burning building with no exits and so it has proved for some of the countries in it. But there are no exits.’

Mr Hague adds: ‘There should be powers returned to this country. We should be clear in the Tory Party that that is where we are heading.’

The Foreign Secretary goes on to predict that Europe could be ‘in 2015 one of the dividing lines between the Coalition parties’. It was in 1998 that Mr Hague first described monetary union as a ‘burning building with no exits’. He contrasted this with the exits available from its forerunner, the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, which Britain pulled out of in 1992.

For German readers:

Britischer Außenminister nennt den Euro “Wahnsinn” (Financial Times Germany, Sep. 29, 2011):

Die Insel wollte nie bei der Währungsunion mitmachen. William Hague sieht die Bedenken durch die aktuelle Krise bestätigt und erklärt Deutschland zum Dauer-Zahlmeister. Sein Rundumschlag richtet sich auch gegen die Europäische Union: “Die EU hat zu viel Macht.”

Großbritanniens Außenminister William Hague hat die Euro-Zone als “brennendes Haus ohne Ausgang” bezeichnet. “Es war Wahnsinn, dieses System zu schaffen, jahrhundertelang wird darüber als eine Art historisches Monument kollektiven Wahnsinns geschrieben werden”, sagte der konservative Politiker in einem Interview mit dem konservativen Polit-Magazin “The Spectator”.

Hague gilt schon immer als Euro-Kritiker. Den Vergleich mit dem “brennenden Haus” hatte er bereits Ende der 1990er Jahre gezogen, als Großbritannien sich gegen den Beitritt zur Euro-Zone entschieden hatte.

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