Gulf money union pause

Gulf money union pause
# 25 May 2010 04:55 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. GULF Arab countries planning a monetary union should take some time to draw lessons from the troubles in the euro zone and give fiscal policies equal importance in the process, Kuwait’s foreign minister said on Sunday, APA reports quoting “Straits Times”.
’There are a lot of lessons’ to be drawn from the euro zone problems, the foreign minister, Mohammad Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah, said. ’We should pause a little bit and try to learn from what happened with the European monetary union. It would be irresponsible to proceed ’business as usual’ without minding or... (learning) from the euro problem,’ he said.
Sabah spoke to reporters in the Saudi Red Sea port city of Jeddah after a meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign ministers. In addition to Kuwait, which currently holds GCC’s rotating presidency, the bloc includes Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Oman and the United Arab Emirates have pulled out of the monetary union scheme, which has initially been planned to start before the end of 2010 with the launch of a single currency.
’We want to do it at the right time and in the right format,’ Sabah said. ’We have to first and foremost think seriously about not only monetary policy but also fiscal policy, and that requires the harmonisation of our budgetary policies.’ ’The ’pause’ doesn’t mean delay,’ he added.
Some GCC officials had acknowledged that the Gulf Arab monetary union might be delayed to as far as 2015 even before the onset of Greece’s sovereign debt problems heightened concerns over the strength of some euro zone states.
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