Early anti-euro voice has not flinched

Dec. 28, 2010 at 6:10 PM

LONDON, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- An early British dissenter of the common European Union currency said he hasn't changed his mind: The euro, he says, will fail.

"I have always said that the euro will break up. Not after the first crisis today, but after the second crisis, which could be 10 years away. This is, after all, a political project, not an economic project," said former Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont, who served under Prime Minister John Major, who succeeded Margaret Thatcher.

Lamont said in a speech in 1990 that, "The fact is that Europe is not ready for a single currency," The New York Times noted Tuesday.

Lamont also led Britain's negotiating team as the euro was created, insisting Britain be allowed to opt out of joining the currency program, which it did.

Looking for signs the euro is doomed is easier today than it was at the end of the cold war, but European leaders insist they will do what needs to be done to keep the euro intact.

This year, the European Union bailed out Greece, then Ireland, as debt issues threatened to undermine the currency shared by 16 nations. Other countries remain in difficult straits, notably Portugal and Spain, which some say are also headed for bailouts.

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