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also because, in their way, they were inspirational
figures. John was an optimist. He never agreed with the French philosopher who said that to be a
prophet it was necessary to be a pessimist. He recognised public opinion moves cyclically. He
began his career outside the mainstream in regard to Europe, saw it come nearer and then, more
recently move away from him. But he never lost the faith either in his beliefs or in his conviction
that his vision would ultimately prevail. He believed that the pendulum would swing back and the
ostensible innate hostility
degrees in both
economics and law, Barón Crespo started his political career in Spain as a Socialist MP and later on
as cabinet minister for transportation (1982-1987) under then Prime Minister Felipe González.
Following his election to the Spanish Parliament in the first free elections after the death of General
Franco in 1977, the author became a member of the Constitutional Committee that drafted the
democratic Constitution, which among other things established regions with legislative powers vis-
à-vis the central government.
A decade later, Barón joined
Europe. Italy – yesterday as today – deserves
respect and trust.
This also sums up my relationship with
Tommaso – someone I was proud to call a
friend. I got to know him well when he was
rapporteur on the Delors Committee in the
late 1980s and then spent countless hours with
him day and night around the tables of the
Eurogroup and ECOFIN.
His European heart, soul and conviction led
him to dedicate his career and in fact his life to
our Union and our single currency. His legacy
lives on today. For him, as it is for me, the
economy is always about people and