This article summarises some of the major problems with the Euro.
WHILE MOST of the world’s attention has naturally focused on the catastrophe of Iraq, the nuclear showdown in North Korea and the electoral nemesis approaching for George W. Bush on November 7, it has also been an interesting week in Europe.
Hungarians marked the brutal suppression of their democracy by Soviet tanks 50 years ago by rioting against their elected Government. In Italy, the Government’s credit rating was reduced to the same level as Botswana’s, and Romano Prodi seemed on the verge of losing a vote of confidence, just six months after sweeping his reviled and derided predecessor, Silvio Berlusconi, from power. The British Home Secretary welcomed Bulgarians and Romanians into the European Union by restricting their ability to seek jobs.
The Iraq invasion, disastrous though it has been, may not go down in history as the greatest political blunder of the past decade. That dubious honour will probably belong to an event most people still regard as a triumph: the creation of the euro. What we see today, not only in Italy and Hungary, but also in the other relatively weak economies on the southern and eastern fringes of the EU, is the beginning of the end of the European project. And if the euro project does turn out to be the high-water mark of European unification, then history will judge it a far more important event that anything happening in the Middle East.