The Euro: Put it out of its misery now
I used to be very happy with the euro, although I drew the line at advocating British participation. A common currency is so useful from the perspective of travellers and businesses.
Now, as the euro zone staggers from crisis to crisis, I have completely changed my mind. A one-size-fits-all currency for a disparate group of financially independent countries was always a recipe for disaster, despite the superficial advantages.
German industry, despite anti-euro German public opinion, is happy with the euro. Here is a strong economy enjoying the export benefits of a weak currency. In southern Europe, however, lies a bunch of weak economies suffering the disaster of a strong currency.
How can the euro be strong and weak at the same time? Easy: If the weak countries left the euro the currency would soar in value (much to the annoyance of Germany and the other northern economies). A low-valued euro is good for Germany & Co; but the same currency is overvalued in relation to the economies of Greece & Co. Greece, of course, is a bottomless pit because there is no political will to stifle the public sector profligacy that has been endemic for forty years.
If you want an example in idiocy, pay heed to the Greek far-left leader Alexis Tsirpas. His policy is to keep Greece in the euro while restoring early retirement, nationalising the banks and expanding the already bloated public service. Germany will pay up to avoid the collapse of the euro, he told the press.
To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, a socialist Greece under Tsirpas would soon run out of other people’s money. Frankly, it already has, even before he has his chance to put his dead hand on the economy.
The unelected eurocrats, who had the grandiose idea of a common currency because they believed it would eventually lead to a European federation, are now in turmoil as their dream is shattered. They are still in denial and that is why they are not taking the necessary steps.
The euro is gasping its last and a return to national currencies, at least for the economically weaker members, would be a blessing in disguise.
Public opinion is turning against the disaster that is the euro. See this Telegraph article which is now fairly representative of the view of the man in the street.