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Swiss National Bank chief says success of euro is "wide open"

The President of the Swiss National Bank Hans Meyer says the race for a successful and stable euro is “wide open,” but that in case of failure Switzerland will have enough room to manoeuvre and survive a crisis.

This content was published on October 13, 1999 - 12:19

The President of the Swiss National Bank Hans Meyer says the race for a successful and stable euro is “wide open,” but that in case of failure Switzerland will have enough room to manoeuvre and survive a crisis.

Meyer said in a speech in the German city of Frankfurt late Tuesday that Switzerland had a vested interest in the success of the euro, which was introduced by 11 members of the 15-nation European Union in January.

Switzerland is not a member of the EU and Meyer underlined that this allowed the SNB to be more flexible since it was not tied down by political realities should the bank consider it necessary to readjust its monetary policy.

A successful euro would clearly also benefit the Swiss economy, he said, adding that Switzerland would nevertheless not enter into any institutionalised relationship with the eurozone.

Meyer admonished the eurozone states to maintain budgetary discipline since otherwise the euro currency could lose its economic significance.

The head of the European Central Bank, Wim Duisenberg, said Monday that it was up to the governments of the eurozone to engage the structural reforms to fight high unemployment and that the ECB would keep up the pressure for such changes.

He said that the ECB’s main priority would remain price stability.

From staff and wire reports.

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