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He said the old European Monetary System, before the single currency, had aggravated inflation and tensions between EU states.
He learned not only to survive in a political snake pit, but also to weather some of the tightest moments in Italian financial history, especially the 1992 episode when Italy was forced to leave the exchange rate mechanism of the European monetary system.
After the demise of the Bretton Woods international monetary system, in which the dollar served as the world's key currency, they strongly advocated the introduction of the European Monetary System with stable yet adaptable exchange rates and the European Currency Unit -- the administrative unit that became the Euro -- as the standard unit of account.
Last Thursday, in a speech to the International Project Finance Association I stuck my neck out by suggesting a year from now I believed that the Euro will have survived albeit one that by then could be on the point of emerging as a two-tier based currency system closely based on the former European Monetary System.
As for the solution, it would be to search for new mechanisms to restructure the European monetary system, trading at bourses, banking operations, as well as restructure the functions of monetary institutions based on facts rather than speculators' wishes.
Similarly, Francisco Torres' "The Long Road to EMU: The Economic and Political Reasoning behind Maastricht", gives an outstanding insight in the long process that links the decline of Bretton Woods system to the introduction of the European Monetary System and the European Monetary Union.
The European Monetary System began as a high-level reaction to global currency chaos, and in particular to the depreciation of the dollar in 1977 and 1978, which seemed to threaten its continued role as the major international reserve currency.
I think that if the Government has slept on the job, the revenge of the electorate on the Labour Party will be more lasting than it was against the Conservatives for their ineptitude when we had to withdraw in haste and confusion from the European Monetary System.