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French Hail Victor Hugo as a Euro Visionary

January 07, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

France kicked off the 200th anniversary of the birth of "Les Miserables" author Victor Hugo, who the country's press said was one of the earliest advocates of the euro.

The Journal du Dimanche weekly reprinted extracts of Hugo's impassioned 1855 call for a "United States of Europe" and a "continental currency, resting on all Europe as its capital and driven by the activity of 200 million men."

"This currency alone would replace and bring down all the absurd varieties of money that exist today, with their effigies of princes, those symbols of misery," it quoted the leftist firebrand as saying.

Hugo celebrations will peak on the anniversary of his Feb. 26 birth.

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