Mission to Central African countries with ties to euro zone
initiative of the Banque des Etats de l'Afrique Centrale (the central bank
of five Central African States) the then European Commissioner for Economic
and Monetary Affairs, Yves-Thibault de Silguy visited government and
business representatives in Cameroon and Gabon. He invited AMUE Secretary
General Bertrand de Maigret to be part of the mission to represent business
views on the introduction of the euro.
The representatives of these French
franc zone countries with whom they talked stressed how harmful are
exchange rate fluctuations to their countries, which are selling raw
materials and commodities in dollars but are paying for most of their
imports in euro. National officials and businessmen welcomed the birth of
the euro as it enlarges to the whole euro zone the French franc stability
zone. It also allows them to reduce their financial costs now that the euro
has replaced eleven currencies.
However, African leaders are deeply
concerned about their ability to control inflation and public sector
deficits if there were to be a further depreciation of the CFA franc via
its peg to the euro. The CFA franc accounts for about one per cent of the
French franc money supply; its value is guaranteed by the French Treasury
at no risk to the Eurosystem.
The AMUE Board on February 18, 1999, was pleased to co-opt as one of its
members the former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kenneth Clarke, the
Deputy Chairman of British American Tobacco, a founding member of the
Association. During the same meeting in Brussels, Jan Hommen, a member of
the Board and Executive Vice President of Philips was invited to take over
from his deputy chairman Dudley Eustace, who is due to retire in April.
Dudley Eustace was invited to remain on the Board of the Association as he
had contributed so much to its success.
Copyright © 1999 by the Association for the Monetary Union of Europe (AMUE)
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