Saturday 18 November 2017

Relative calm in eurozone comes at a cost and will not last forever

Europe's common currency has survived so far but has done little for political cohesion

EXIT: Italy faces a period of political uncertainty after prime minister Matteo Renzi announced his resignation following his defeat in a constitutional referendum
EXIT: Italy faces a period of political uncertainty after prime minister Matteo Renzi announced his resignation following his defeat in a constitutional referendum
Colm McCarthy

Colm McCarthy

Despite inadequate design and misguided management, Europe's common currency has survived eight years of severe economic downturn, and survived better than support for its designers, the traditional political parties in the EU's founding member states.

European political cohesion would be in better shape, and the United Kingdom still on board, had the common currency enthusiasts been ignored. But the common currency project will survive: it enjoys deep political commitment in Germany, sadly not extending to a willingness to remedy the design flaws so clearly in evidence since 2008.

The preferred German policy is to ignore system fragilities until crisis strikes, blame other European governments for inadequate 'reform' and thus to maximise economic cost and political damage through doing too little, too late.

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