Brendan Keenan: Fear and loathing of competition must not be driver of fiscal union
LOOKING for a trick question for a Christmas quiz? If so, I may be able to help. The question is: "How does a country apply to join the euro?" The correct answer is that countries don't apply, membership is compulsory.
Even well-informed people -- as distinct from complete nerds who might know the answer -- may refuse to believe the answer and demand a recount. And who could blame them?
This curious fact says a lot about the origins of the euro, as well as its present difficulties. If it is to survive -- and perhaps the EU with it -- that answer, along with many other things, will have to change.