Following an impressively smooth, strong debut in foreign exchange markets, the euro has confidently assumed its role as the “other” currency of choice for traders and investors. On the first day of trading, the dollar fell to a three-month low against the Japanese yen as investors were drawn to the fledgling European currency. Many have speculated that it will challenge the dollar’s dominance.
The 11 Economic Monetary Union (EMU) member countries are delighted, while the U.S. is characteristically nonchalant. Asia, still struggling under the weight of the region’s financial crisis, has offered little response, with the exception of Japan, which is urgently trying to regain some of its former stature on the world financial scene, with Prime Minster Keizo Obuchi approaching Asia’s new friends in Europe with calls for acceptance into a tri-polar financial world.
So the new European bloc is showing a strong economic face. What’s next?
EMU countries, and particularly Germany at the helm (now with added clout as EU president from January to June 1999), have long envisioned much more than just a single currency. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder revealed the goal when he said: “The euro can be a success only with greater political union. It is not enough to simply coordinate monetary policy” (Reuters, Dec. 29, 1998).
An increasing number of officials from Europe’s political ranks have begun to confirm what Herbert Armstrong boldly taught for years during his long ministry—that a combine of European nations, bound by monetary and political union, would join with a strong religious power to form the seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire shortly before the return of Jesus Christ. German Foreign Minister Gunther Verheugen echoed a chorus of other prominent voices when he recently stated, “Normally, a single currency is the final step in a process of political integration. This time the single currency isn’t the final step but the beginning. Inevitably it will happen” (PA News, Jan. 1).