Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:02 pm on 23 June 2005.

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Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Spokespersons In the Lords, Foreign Affairs, Deputy Leader, House of Lords, Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords 1:02, 23 June 2005

My Lords, I think that the noble Lord has missed the point. What the OECD is worried about—it was its remark, not mine—is that the German economy is doing extremely badly and the French economy is in a coma, whereas Ireland is booming ahead. Some of the new accession countries are doing extremely well. Italy is in a desperate state. Their requirements in terms of monetary and fiscal balance and, indeed, in terms of interest rates have diverged enormously. That puts an intolerable strain on a system that has only one interest rate. That is the point it is trying to make.