Deceased French president Francois Mitterrand in 1989 gave his approval to German unification on condition that then Chancellor Helmut Kohl opened the way for the creation of an only currency in the European Union.
So it emerges from the records until now confidential, of the private talks held by Mitterrand and German Foreign Affairs minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher which were revealed by “Der Spiegel” in their Sunday edition.
According to the documents Mitterrand regretted that the German Federal Republic was slowing “the path to EU economic and monetary union”, to which Genscher promised to make concessions in the matter.
The French president wanted a determined European Community statement in support of the monetary union during the following European summit scheduled to take place in Strasbourg in 1990.
With a summit coming up in Strasbourg in 1990, Mitterrand warned: 'The Germans are facing a very important choice.'
According to “Der Spiegel” European leaders meeting in Strasbourg effectively decided on the road map to advance towards the monetary unit and also supported the plan for German unification from the government of Chancellor Kohl.
The magazine supports the facts with statements from then Mitterrand advisor and later Foreign Affairs minister Hubert Védrine, who said that the French president would not accept German unification, divided since the end of WW2, unless it was coupled to European integration which necessarily implied monetary union and a single currency.
Other ccontemporaries of the time confirmed to Spiegel the existence of a deal linking the Euro to the remaking of the European map.
The former President of the Bundesbank Karl Otto Pöhl was even clearer, stating: 'The European monetary union would not have come about without German reunification and vice versa.'
However, Wolfgang Schaeuble, a former close aide to Kohl, who was German chancellor from 1982 to 1998, and current finance minister, denied that there was any closed-door deal done.
The “Spiegel” article comes ahead of the twentieth anniversary of the German Unity Treaty which became effective 3 October 1990, formally dissolving the former German Democratic Republic, less than a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, 9 November 1989.
Kohl negotiated the whole process both with former communist GDR officials as well as with leaders from the Allies that defeated Nazi Germany and with European associates.