Britain thinking of joining euro: Barroso

December 1, 2008

Britain is considering joining the eurozone as a direct consequence of global financial turmoil, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Sunday.

“We are now closer than ever before. I’m not going to break the confidentiality of certain conversations, but some British politicians have already told me: ‘If we had the euro, we would have been better off’,” Barroso told a weekly French news programme, referring to the fall in the pound’s value since markets and liquidity meltdown earlier this year.

“The British have an enormous quality, one of many, that is they are pragmatic,” he said on the panel of a joint RTL-LCI radio and television broadcast. “This crisis has emphasised the importance of the euro, and also of Britain,” he added.

“I don’t mean this will happen tomorrow, I know that the majority (of British people) are still opposed, but there is a period of consideration underway and the people which matter in Britain are currently thinking about it,” the former Portuguese prime minister said.

Barroso pointed to the case of Denmark, another EU state which has so far refused to accept the euro but is now planning another referendum on the single currency. The Danish voted against joining in 2000.

AFP | Sunday, November 30, 2008

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