Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Janet Daley on the euro 2014: "more and more like the East German Ostmark"

It is easy to agree with Janet Daley's prediction for the eurozone in 2014:

... the eurozone will not collapse – at least, not as definitively as the Communist bloc did 20 years ago. But neither will it take any serious steps to resolve its internal contradictions. The euro will survive – however many democratic governments, constitutional arrangements and national institutions have to be trampled underfoot to preserve it. The pretence will be abandoned that the artificial life-support system on which the currency has been dependent is some temporary emergency measure, and it will come to be accepted as a permanent fixture.
With this, the euro will quite rapidly lose what connections it had with economic reality, becoming more and more like the East German Ostmark, whose value was decided by bureaucratic fiat and sustained by a political act of will. The social costs of this – particularly in southern Europe – will be devastating. But they are unlikely to lead to the sort of violent unrest that once seemed to be imminent. The peoples of the Mediterranean seem too exhausted by hardship to organise national rebellions. They will simply resign themselves to a future of economic dependency and occasional outbursts of neo-fascist disorder.

Read the entire Telegraph column here

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