Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

'Can You Spare a Euro?' Perhaps Not in Britain Yet Kohl, Major Face Different Attitudes toward Single Currency

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

'Can You Spare a Euro?' Perhaps Not in Britain Yet Kohl, Major Face Different Attitudes toward Single Currency

Article excerpt

The contrast between German and British attitudes towards Europe could hardly have been sharper.

On July 22, the German Finance Ministry in Bonn began circulating 1 million copies of a 70-page pamphlet extolling the virtues of a single European currency. In London, British Prime Minister John Major faced a new revolt in his ruling party on the very same issue.

David Heathcoat-Amory resigned as treasury minister, declaring: "I am leaving because I can no longer support the {British} government's policy towards the European Union."

While Chancellor Helmut Kohl was throwing his considerable weight behind a nationwide campaign on the theme "The Euro {European currency unit} is coming soon," Mr. Heathcoat-Amory and other Conservative critics demanded that Mr. Major reject a single currency for at least the next five years.

For Britain to adopt the Euro would be "disastrous," Heathcoat-Amory said.

In a resignation statement Heathcoat-Amory asserted: "The government's policy is not working. The drive to political union in Europe is relentless, and has already gone beyond what most people regard as acceptable."

Heathcoat-Amory has joined a growing number of members of the House of Commons who describe themselves as Euroskeptics. They number about 70 - roughly one-quarter of Conservative parliamentarians.

John Redwood, who challenged Major for the leadership of the ruling Conservative Party last year and opposes a single currency, welcomed Heathcoat-Amory's resignation and declared: "I do not believe the Conservative Party wants to abolish the pound sterling."

Mr. Redwood claims that rank-and-file Conservatives throughout Britain are unhappy with the government's EU policy, and that to change course now "would unite us and make it easier to fight the general election."

Major may be wishing he was as firmly in control of his government's European policy as his counterparts elsewhere in the EU are. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.