Site’s still screwed (some kind of issue in the database, by the look of things – a legacy of this place having been around too long), but thought I’d try and cobble something together, what with 2011 – with just 11 posts – being the quietest year on this blog since I started it in 2003.
Yes, the fewest posts in the *only* year I’ve been blogging on the EU that something genuinely newsworthy and interesting has been coming out of the EU… I know…
Anyway, in checking the archives to try to fix this place, it turns out there’s not much more to be said on the current euro crisis that I haven’t said already:
“The economics may not be “right” at the moment; they may become “right” at some point in the future – if we join then, that will be beneficial for Britain. But economic conditions fluctuate unpredictably all the time. No one predicted the Wall Street Crash.
“In other words, joining the Eurozone will ALWAYS be a risk, just as staying out will always be a risk. Economics is not predictable. So we may as well take the plunge now – we have no idea how Britain will continue to survive outside the Eurozone, we have no idea what will happen if we join.”
“The real question, of course, is whether the euro can ever achieve all that has been claimed for it. As of yet, there is little in the way of overwhelming evidence to support claims that the euro – and, importantly, the euro alone – has been responsible for ‘price stability, low mortgage rates, easier travel, protection against exchange rate fluctuations and external shocks’
…when it comes to this sort of thing, better the devil you know is a fair enough line to take until the evidence becomes overwhelming. The evidence isn’t yet overwhelming – hence Gordon still saying his tests aren’t passed – so no one but the most fervently ideological is going to be convinced. That simple.”
“Everyone loves a good recession! It’s now a race to the finish line – who’s going to make it first, the UK or Eurozone? (Far more exciting than the Olympics, this…)
…the real question is longer-term. If the Eurozone enters its first recession at the same time that the EU is doing the headless chicken act over the Irish Lisbon Treaty referendum result, what will be the impact on the long-term viability of the EU as a whole? With the economy looking shaky, will the countries of Europe look to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt or to their own national banks for stabilising measures? And can the ECB – only in existence for a decade, lest we forget – handle the tough times as well as the easy? Well, some analysts think the signs point to a big fat no”
“This whole episode is already going to prove that a single currency simply isn’t enough, that the levels of integration that the EU has so far achieved are simply not enough, that when it comes to the (credit) crunch, we all still look out for number one first, and sod the rest of the continent. Some may even take it as a sign that the old hope that the EU can provide prosperity and insulate from hardship was a false one. It’s all far too early to say… The only thing that is certain is that no one knows where this is heading. Until we do, I’m going to try and refrain from adding to the reams of inaccurate guesswork.”
“This recession is going to be the major test of the idea of the Euro – if it fails that test, it won’t just be the UK that gets cold feet”
“let’s face it, no one knows what’s going to happen and most economic predictions over the last few years have proven utterly mistaken…
here’s my ranking of the likelihood of the various “what nexts” I’ve seen mooted, in approximate order of likelihood:
1) Another Greek bailout
2) Greek default & risk of contagion
3) Greece leaves the eurozone
4) Germany leaves the eurozone
5) Dissolve the euro & start again
6) Full political integration
7) Give up and dissolve the EU
8) Britain joins the euro to boost confidence & stability
Number 1’s already happened. Other than that, has the situation really changed that much – beyond possibly the likelihood of number 6? Is there anything more that needs to be said? Has anyone actually come up with a solution? Have we got any new options?