Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Ten Years After The Real Test Begins
For arch-critics at Germany's universities, the decision to press ahead with the euro before the creation of a full-fledged EU state was to put the cart before the horse. America had forged its union before issuing a currency, as had 19th century Germany. This is the bigger question to be tested over the euro's second decade. Currency unions can mask risk for a while. They shield sinners long enough to let imbalances get out of hand, storing up trouble for a more traumatic crisis later. On its tenth birthday, the single currency is an unquestioned part of daily life for 330m people in sixteen states (Slovakia joins on January 1st), spreading almost as widely as Rome's denarius -- the first truly Pan-European coin.