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Peter Voser says it is one minute to midnight for the euro

Blue chip CEOs say it is one minute to midnight for the euro

Friday 02 December 2011

Chief executives from five of the Netherlands biggest firms have written an open letter in the Financieele Dagblad urging immediate action to solve the euro crisis.

‘It is one minute to midnight and therefore of greatest importance that there is a decisive approach to the euro crisis in the short term,’ the letter signed by Frans van Houten (Philips), Paul Polman (Unilever), Peter Voser (Shell), Hans Wijers (AkzoNobel) and Feike Sijbesma (DSM), said.

‘This is the best way to restore trust in a strong and united Europe. We have to focus on measures to make the Netherlands and Europe more competitive on the world market,’ the letter says. ‘This does not mean retreating behind the dykes. Looking further beyond borders is the only solution.’


The letter says this last point is crucial given the enormous shift in economic power that is taking place in terms of developing economies. ‘These newcomers are often cheaper, faster and sometimes more innovative,’ the letter states.

The business leaders point out that the Netherlands is traditionally an internationally-orientated country with a healthy economy.

‘As part of Europe, we are part of one of the most important power blocks in the global economy, and we and our European partners have influence,’ the letter said.

The answer is lies not in protectionism and nationalism ‘because that will not make our country better or more prosperous, rather the opposite’, the business leaders said.



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