Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Euro’s Lost Promise

by David Marsh

New York Times
May 17, 2010

The dream of monetary union across Europe has turned into a nightmare. Led by France and Germany, European countries have decided to spend colossal sums of taxpayers’ money they cannot afford to heal mounting internal disparities they cannot conceal to shore up an edifice many believe cannot stand. On Monday, that skepticism briefly pulled the value of the euro down to a four-year low against the dollar.

A little over a week ago, European Union leaders approved a rescue package worth 750 billion euros (nearly $1 trillion) for weaker members like Greece, Portugal and Spain, backed by the International Monetary Fund and the American government. The present crisis extends well beyond its immediate causes: bad decisions in Athens, lack of European leadership and a poor economy. These are but the latest twists in a drama that began more than two decades ago.


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