Official celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Nationale Bank van België/Banque Nationale de Belgique (National Bank of Belgium)
Speech delivered by Dr. Willem F. Duisenberg, President of the European Central Bank, Brussels, 12 May 2000
It is a great honour to be invited to speak at this official celebration of the 150th anniversary of the National Bank of Belgium (the Bank). Before I say anything else, let me first congratulate the Bank on reaching this milestone in its history and allow me to congratulate in particular all those whose work and dedication have ensured its place as a successful and well respected central bank.
As we have heard from Prime Minister Verhofstadt, the Bank enjoys a rich and extensive history, which dates back almost as far as the state of Belgium itself and during which time it has contributed greatly to the development of the Belgian economy. It is also a time in which the tasks and responsibilities of central banks have evolved to such an extent that they bear little resemblance to those of a century and half ago.