Monday, March 29, 2010

The Euro Chasm

A German economist, Joachim Starbatty, clearly explains the source of the present European monetary predicament:

« The European Monetary Union, the basis of the euro, began with a grand illusion. On one side were countries — Austria, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands — whose currencies had persistently appreciated, both within Europe and worldwide; the countries on the other side — Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain — had persistently depreciating currencies. Yet the union was devised as a one-size-fits-all structure. (...)

Germany and other “euro-optimists” hoped that the introduction of a common currency and the global economic competitiveness it spurred would quickly lead to sweeping economic and societal modernization across the union. But the opposite has occurred.

(…) the solution is clear: the only way to avoid further harm to the global economy is for Germany to lead its fellow stable states out of the euro and into a new and stronger currency bloc. »

The complete paper in the New York Times is well worth reading.

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