Euro fore­fa­ther Ti­et­meyer dies

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

For­mer Bun­des­bank pres­i­dent Hans Ti­et­meyer, a key ar­chi­tect of the euro who over­saw its in­tro­duc­tion in Ger­many, has died at the age of 85, the cen­tral bank an­nounced yes­ter­day. Ti­et­meyer ran the mighty Bun­des­bank from 1993 to 1999, a pe­riod that strad­dled the af­ter­math of Ger­man re­uni­fi­ca­tion as well as the launch of the sin­gle Euro­pean cur­rency and the cre­ation of the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank. “Hans Ti­et­meyer was an out­stand­ing pres­i­dent, who al­ways acted with the goal of mone­tary sta­bil­ity in mind,” cur­rent Bun­des­bank chief Jens Wei­d­mann said in a state­ment. “Our thoughts and sym­pa­thies go out to his fam­ily.” Ti­et­meyer died on Tues­day, the state­ment added, with­out giv­ing fur­ther de­tails.

A fierce de­fender of the in­de­pen­dence of cen­tral banks, Ti­et­meyer was cred­ited with en­sur­ing that the same prin­ci­ple was en­shrined in the statutes of the ECB, which was mod­eled in large part on the Bun­des­bank and is like­wise based in Frank­furt. Be­fore join­ing the Bun­des­bank, Ti­et­meyer was a ju­nior fi­nance min­is­ter and served as an ad­vi­sor to for­mer chan­cel­lor Hel­mut Kohl.

Seen as one of the ar­chi­tects of the Euro­pean mone­tary union, the in­flu­en­tial Ti­et­meyer was known for speak­ing his mind and cau­tioned early on of the pit­falls of the sin­gle cur­rency. He no­tably warned that some mem­ber states had to show greater bud­getary dis­ci­pline if trou­ble was to be avoided down the road-com­ments that would prove pre­scient dur­ing the eu­ro­zone debt cri­sis. But Ti­et­meyer later also cred­ited the euro with shield­ing mem­ber states from for­eign ex­change tur­moil at the height of the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis. “We would prob­a­bly have had a se­ries of cur­rency crises” that could have ham­mered some coun­tries had they kept their na­tional monies, Ti­et­meyer told AFP in late 2008. “As a re­sult, the sin­gle cur­rency has with­out doubt ben­e­fited the peo­ple and the econ­omy of Europe,” he said.

KASSEL: Pic­ture taken on June 15, 1998 in Kassel, west­ern Ger­many, shows then pres­i­dent of the Ger­man cen­tral bank Bun­des­bank Hans Ti­et­meyer next to a gi­ant poster of the Deutsche Mark cur­rency.

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