§ 19. Sir David Madel
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next expects to meet the German Foreign Minister to discuss future developments in the European Union.
§ Sir David Madel
In all the diplomatic and other contacts that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has with the German Government, has my right hon. Friend noticed that they have any less enthusiasm for and optimism about the possibility of a single currency this century?
§ Mr. Hurd
In recent weeks, German Ministers have emphasised that their support, which is undoubted, for a single bank and a single currency must not be taken to imply any support for a weakening of anti-inflation policy in Germany or any weakening of the criteria on convergence in the treaty. As my hon. Friend the Minister of State has already pointed out, they are powerfully supported in that view by the president of the Bundesbank, who said that, regardless of timing, the strict application of the criteria is essential. That has many implications for the timetable laid out in the treaty.
§ Mr. Hurd
I tried to stimulate a little German discussion on that matter when I spoke on it in Berlin yesterday. I made the point that—I think that the hon. Gentleman will agree—it is not possible to imagine extending the common agricultural policy in its present form to cover the farmers of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and others. We in the existing 15 have to work to reform and change the policy substantially before we can consider enlargement.