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Catherine joins Sharon Bowles in congratulating the Euro

An official ceremony in the European Parliament this week marks the 10th anniversary of the Euro. 

Sharon Bowles, South East Euro-MP and Economic Affairs Spokesperson, said:

"It was predicted that the establishment of a single European currency would never happen. On the eve of the Euro launch back in 1998 such sceptics were proven wrong. Critics then turned to predict the currency's disintegration; ten years later these critics have been proven wrong again. Not only is the Euro now well-established, it has widely been viewed as a sanctuary to weather the global financial crisis and offered smaller countries, which might otherwise have been in grave difficulties, real stability.

"This was evident in the back-end of last year when capital was pulled out of potentially risky currencies. As the financial markets in Iceland and eastern European states folded, countries in the Euro-zone with broadly similar set-ups looked on in relief, relatively protected from the credit crisis.

"Most of the criticism thrown at the Euro is because it does not behave exactly the same as a national currency. Some would say that is the point, it is more stable, and as a package it is certainly not inferior. The European Central Bank has shown that it is no slouch during the turmoil, in the early stages responding faster and better than the Bank of England, broadening the scope of the securities that it accepted and injecting cash into the markets.

"There is no doubt that the Euro is being tested. There is no doubt that many smaller countries have survived potential disasters because of the Euro. I believe the Euro will continue to show it is an asset for both the Euro-zone and the wider EU, and I still regret UK did not, and still doesn't, have the courage to join."

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