French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe gave a frank assessment on Sunday of the consequences of a disintegration of the euro, telling reporters on a visit to Australia that EU mainstays France and Germany were both committed to preventing this.
“We certainly cannot allow the sole currency to fall apart because falling apart would apply also to Europe as a whole,” Juppe said through his own interpreter in Canberra.
“The sole currency cannot really function unless there is economic power and European government as such around the euro zone.”
France and Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse, are struggling to present a united front to shore up confidence in the 17-member euro zone, because of growing public unease over propping up weaker member states, especially Greece.
Stock markets tumbled on Friday on news of the resignation of a German executive board member from the European Central Bank. And on Saturday, a sister party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives said heavily indebted states should be threatened with ejection from the euro zone.
France’s Juppe said debt-laden Greece needed to meet its commitments to put its finances on a sustainable footing, in order to access the latest 109 billion euro ($150 billion) euro-zone bailout package unveiled in July.
“Greece has made some mistakes. They have to correct these mistakes. They also have to honor the commitments that they have made,” he said.
Some economists believe Greece should exit the euro to give it more control over its crippled economy, but Juppe was adamant the euro should not be allowed to unravel.
“France and Germany are agreed as to this objective. The 17-member countries of the euro zone are also supportive. It is true that outside the euro zone some countries are not of the same view, but we will be able to push this through.”