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December 08, 2011


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Mike Power

The economic problems in the EU stem from a design failure resulting from compromise. By failing to enact fiscal union with monetary union, member states were left free to maintain their structural idiosyncracies and adapt to the stress of a non-responsive common currency as best they could.

The EMU is a 27 floor skyscraper with a thermostat on the 13th floor. Some floors are always too hot and others too cold; the temperature was always managed for the benefit of the penthouse states - Germany and France. Meanwhile, Italy, Greece and Spain coped by running up sovereign debt.

If Europeans had been given a clear choice between the full monty - fiscal and monetary union or nothing - this might have turned out differently.

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