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Wednesday, 5 July 2000 - Strasbourg OJ edition

ECB annual report

  Riis-Jørgensen (ELDR).(DA) Mr President, Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, first of all, I should like to thank Mr Radwan for a splendid report. Pages 60 and 61 of the ECB’s annual report contain a discussion of the situation in Denmark in 1999. It is pointed out that, in 1999, the Danish krone was stable and marginally stronger than the central rate in ERM 2. This situation has, unfortunately, changed because there has been pressure on the Danish krone in recent months. Speculation against the Danish krone is occurring primarily because Danish opinion polls suggest that there may be a ‘no’ vote in the forthcoming referendum on 28 September. If there is, in fact, a ‘no’ vote in this referendum – and I very much disagree with my French colleague who has just spoken and who, if I understood him correctly, is hoping for just such a vote – then speculation against the krone may be expected to increase, in which case Denmark will have need of that ECB support in defence of the krone which is provided for in the ERM 2 agreement. I would therefore ask you, Mr Duisenberg, to clarify what the limits will be for the Danish ERM 2 agreement and to answer the following questions. Firstly, what conditions must Denmark fulfil before the ECB will intervene in support of the krone? Secondly, how much in the way of foreign reserves will the ECB, in practice, spend on buying up kroner in order to support and defend the Danish currency? Thirdly, for how long a period will the ECB be prepared to support the krone? And fourthly and finally, can you tell us whether the ERM 2 agreement is to be in force for an unlimited period of time?

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