Speech by Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, European University Institute, Fiesole, 28 January 2011,
"...This review of Tommaso’s life and legacy is obviously partial, with a focus on his central bank experience, in particular at the ECB. But his contribution is much broader. He certainly believed in exchanging ideas. I heard him say once, during his short tenure at the Finance Ministry, “ If people are willing to discuss issues in a rational way and in good faith, I am confident a solution can be found”. I am not sure it really applied to the specific issue we were talking about at that time, but it certainly applies to the way Europe has been constructed since the start, including over the last few months. It reflects his vision of, and hopes for, Europe in the 21st century.
It is a distinct trait of human nature to become pessimistic as we grow older, to think that the worst is to come when faced with unexpected events, to distrust the younger generation, to foresee the risk of war and terrible events. Tommaso was not like this. He profoundly trusted human beings and invested heavily in younger collaborators because he firmly believed that only by getting the people of Europe closer together there will be a better world.
This is the inspiration we need.
"He professed not to be concerned by Britain’s decision to stay out of the euro, though he described the British long-term negotiating strategy as “masterful”, adding: “First they influenced the substance of the project so that it would be more suitable to them if they did want to sign up to it. Then they carve out a special status for themselves which means they don’t have to sign up to it.” "
[Mrt: Brown´s bottom?]
[Mrt: Second hat tip to Jeff for this first link and to DP fo the secod one.]