Alfons "Fons", Viscount Verplaetse (born 19 February 1930, Zulte) is a Belgian economist and former Governor of the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) from 1989 until 1999. He was one of the architects of the devaluation of Belgian Frank in 1982 when he worked at the cabinet of Wilfried Martens in the government Martens V. As governor of the NBB, he prepared the entry of Belgium to the euro in 1999.
After he graduated in commercial sciences, Alfons Verplaetse started his career at NBB the in 1953, where he worked at the Research department. In 1982, in the government Martens V, he was seconded to the Prime Minister’s Office as associate chief of staff and subsequently as head of the Economic Office until 1987. Together with Jacques van Ypersele de Strihou, he was one of the architects of the economic recovery policy launched by the February 1982 devaluation of the Belgian franc.
He was appointed as a director of the NBB in 1985 and became vice-governor in 1988 and succeeded Jean Godeaux as governor in 1989. In 1990, the Belgian franc was linked to the German mark, in order to stabilise the Belgian currency. The reform of the Belgian monetary policy instruments in 1991 was another step to stabilise and improve the Belgian monetary situation.
An important challenge of his tenure as governor of the NBB was the European monetary integration, which was initiated under Jacques Delors. Alfons Verplaetse became a member of the board of governors of the European Monetary Institute in 1994 and of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank in 1998.
He remained in office until 1999 to oversee the introduction of the euro to replace the Belgian franc, on 1 January 1999, as the official currency of Belgium. After his retirement as governor of the NBB, he made his expertise available in the service of economic and financial development in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was succeeded by Guy Quaden as governor of the NBB.
|Governor of the National Bank of Belgium
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