French central bank chief warns against parallel currencies

Governor of the Bank of France de Galhau attends a press conference after the Franco-German Financial Council meeting in Berlin

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s central bank governor warned on Thursday against introducing two parallel currencies as suggested by far right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, saying it would undermine confidence.

“I hear proposals for a dual currency with the return of a national currency in parallel to a European currency. I must say that such suggestions would put confidence in the currency in danger,” said Francois Villeroy de Galhau.

Speaking at a monetary policy conference at the Bank of France, he added that the European Central Bank (ECB) had not modified its sovereign debt purchase programme in relation to France’s presidential election.

National Front candidate Le Pen has said she wanted to replace the EU single currency with another, looser type of co-operation in the form of the ECU basket of currencies that preceded the euro.

That would exist alongside a national currency, which she said she hoped the French people would have in their pockets within two years if she won power.

Opinion polls put centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron as likely to beat Le Pen in the decisive May 7, run-off vote.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)