Thursday 19 January 2017

Damian Reece: Euro needs a superhero but time is running out

Politicians are moving too slowly for the markets -- they can, at best, buy time for a dangerous project, to save the euro and the future of Europe, says Damian Reece

Damian Reece

Published 02/12/2011 | 05:00

A picture illustration shows a two euro coin outside the European Parliament in Brussels November 28, 2011. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir (BELGIUM - Tags: BUSINESS)
A picture illustration shows a two euro coin outside the European Parliament in Brussels November 28, 2011. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir (BELGIUM - Tags: BUSINESS)

The clock is ticking for the euro. After 11 years circulating in shops and bars from Athens to Zeebrugge, there are, it is said, just 10 days left to save it -- or perhaps eight, since it was on Wednesday that Olli Rehn, Europe's economic and monetary affairs commissioner, made his startling prediction of the euro's imminent demise.

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The fact that Mr Rehn, an official at the heart of the euro project, came out with such a stark assessment has brought what many thought was unthinkable into the realm of the thinkable. So thinkable, in fact, that governments, central banks, lawyers, financial institutions and investors are making contingency plans for what is assumed will be an economic event of cataclysmic proportions.

But can the euro be saved? There is no comic book hero to appear at the last minute to save the euro. To do that, the eurozone's leaders must overcome entrenched political differences over how a rescue is mounted.

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