AFP/ Frankfurt am Main
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 Wednesday.
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 modelled 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 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.
European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said he was "deeply saddened" by Tietmeyer's death.
"Europe, the euro and I personally lose an important companion," he said.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Mexican journalist murdered in Tijuana, second in less than a week
East Timor ex-leader and Nobel laureate Ramos-Horta to run for president again
Lab monkeys found, killed after fleeing US road crash
Peru declares environmental emergency on coastal area hit by oil spill
Peru declares ‘emergency’ on coastal area affected by oil spill
Lab monkeys escape after US road crash, one on the loose
US and Russia promise to work on easing tensions over Ukraine
US opposes proposals to strengthen the World Health Organisation
US Supreme Court justices deny rift over mask wearing