The muddle-through approach to the eurozone crisis has failed to resolve the fundamental problems of economic and competitiveness divergence within the union. If this continues the euro will move towards disorderly debt workouts, and eventually a break-up of the monetary union itself, as some of the weaker members crash out.
The Economic and Monetary Union never fully satisfied the conditions for an optimal currency area. Instead its leaders hoped that their lack of monetary, fiscal and exchange rate policies would in turn see an acceleration of structural reforms. These, it was hoped, would see productivity and growth rates converge. The reality turned out to be different. Continue reading »