‘Architect’ of the Eurozone Dead at 85

(CN) – Hans Tietmeyer, a German economist and one of the architects of the single European economic market, died Tuesday. He was 85.

Born in Metelen, Westphalia, in 1931, Tietmeyer began his political career in Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics. In 1982, he became a permanent secretary in the ministry and was responsible for international monetary and financial policy, as well as financial matters concerning the then-fledgling European Union.

Tietmeyer also served on the board of Deutsche Bundesbank, and was among the first members of the European Central Bank’s governing board. During his tenure at both banks, the eurozone was created and the euro adopted as its official currency in 1999. To date, 19 of the 28 EU member states use the euro – 331 million Europeans in 2015.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker praised Tietmeyer’s work in creating the eurozone, noting his insistence that European Central Bank officials represented the EU rather than their respective member states.

“According to Tietmeyer’s conviction, independent and European monetary policymakers as opposed to national representatives should shape the destiny of the common currency,” Juncker said in a statement. “He was an example of this conviction, setting the benchmark for the stability of the euro. ‘One cannot and should not say that the truth is present in one country but not in another,’ goes a fitting description of his basic take on European negotiations.”