PRESS RELEASE

Statement on the euro by Dr. Willem F. Duisenberg, President of the European Central Bank

5 May 2000

The current development of the euro's exchange rate has given rise to questions from European citizens who are concerned about the value of their currency.

To them, I would like to say the following: I understand their concerns, since a persistently lower euro exchange rate might ultimately lead to higher prices in the shops. It may also undermine the perception of the euro as a stable currency. Therefore, we at the ECB monitor the euro exchange rate very closely.

Citizens should feel reassured by the fact that prices are currently stable in the euro area. Indeed, over the last decades there have been few periods in which prices have been stable for so long. This internal stability of the euro means that people can be confident that their savings and pensions will keep their value over time.

In order to counter risks to price stability the ECB has over the past six months taken measures and increased interest rates four times already. It will continue to do all it can to maintain price stability in the euro area. This will also help to turn the current economic upswing into a long period of high economic growth and falling unemployment. European citizens can be assured that the future of the euro is that of a strong currency, based on price stability and the strength of the European economy.

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