- EXPRESS - Feb 21, 2021 -
THE EUROZONE came into existence thanks to former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who, in his own words, "acted like a dictator" and refused to hold a referendum on the adoption of the single currency in his country.
The eurozone is on course for a double-dip recession after the second wave of COVID-19 infections during the last quarter of 2020 sent the bloc’s recovery into reverse. The eurozone's GDP fell by 0.7 percent from October to December as national governments introduced new restrictions and lockdowns to try to curb the virus. GDP fell by 0.5 percent in the wider EU in the last three months of the year.
With lockdowns likely to persist through much of the first quarter of 2021 and the EU's sluggish start of its vaccine rollout programme, analysts believe the bloc will almost certainly suffer a second bout of declining economic activity during January to March.
A recession is defined as at least two consecutive quarters of negative growth.
Moreover, the euro tumbled to a nine-month low against the pound in response to the figures and the prospect of a double-dip recession.
On the other hand, sterling rose to €1.1365 for the first time since last May, meaning one euro is worth 88p.
As many wonder whether the gloomy outlook could mean the unravelling of the eurozone, an interview with former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, which sheds light on the "single currency's undemocratic beginnings", has resurfaced.
Germany's longest-serving post-war Chancellor admitted he would never have won a referendum on the adoption of the euro in his country and said he acted "like a dictator" to see it introduced.