The Euro crisis is beginning

As the Euro celebrates its tenth anniversary, Vaclav Klaus, the President of the Czech Republic, says:

“The question is whether the eurozone countries and their citizens have cause to celebrate. The answer is uncertain, given the zone’s sluggish economic growth, great growth differences among countries and large differences in inflation, even though a single currency should have one rate.

In 1998 the eurozone was first of all a political project and it was generally believed that its economic underpinnings would be created at a later stage. A homogeneous economic entity was to be created, held together by a common currency.

These hopes have not been fulfilled so far. I am not surprised. European politicians expected the euro to speed up economic growth in Europe, which lagged behind the rest of the world, but the currency’s adoption resulted in a further slowdown.”
FT, 11 Jun 2008

A few days ago I said that Spain and Ireland had little reason to cheer as the Euro approached ten. But, now even the sitting President of the Czech Republic is making the same claims. This is a very big deal. Europe is unraveling at the wrong moment. With the Irish also about to possibly say no to the Lisbon treaty, unity in the EU is being put to the test.

related post: The case against the Euro

Europe’s big test: why the euro will not help, The Financial Times, 11 Jun 2008
Ireland ‘could reject EU treaty’, The Telegraph, 6 Jun 2008


Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty years of business experience. He is also a regular economic and financial commentator on BBC World News, CNBC Television, Business News Network, CBC, Fox Television and RT Television. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. Edward also writes a premium financial newsletter. Sign up here for a free trial.