Dutch central bank made euro break-up contingency plans - TV

AMSTERDAM, March 21 Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:10am EDT

AMSTERDAM, March 21 (Reuters) - The Dutch central bank made contingency plans for a possible collapse of the euro zone at the height of the currency bloc's debt crisis in 2012, its governor told a Dutch television program to be aired Friday.

Klaas Knot, governor of De Nederlandsche Bank, told the College Tour programme that there had been times in 2012 when the euro stood on the edge of the abyss.

"There were moments back then when we in the bank started considering those kinds of scenarios and started making preparations," he said. "I never want to go back there."

The euro came into existence in 1999 and now 18 of the European Union's 28 members use the single currency.

Its introduction heralded a long period of strong growth driven by the cheaper credit the single currency made possible. But high debt levels in the zone's weaker southern countries threatened to break the currency bloc apart in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

Long an enthusiastically pro-European country, the mood in the Netherlands toward Brussels has cooled in recent years, partly as a result of the cost to Dutch taxpayers of bailing out southern countries including Greece. (Reporting By Thomas Escritt; Editing by Toby Chopra)