The euro is far from dead. Following successful integration, it will be nothing less than the next reserve currency of the world.
In the end, the euro will not only survive but also be strong. It isn’t really the common currency that is currently in crisis, but instead the prevalent ways of managing funds, budgets, and running up debt. In a certain way, our democratic system is also in crisis, since it used to consist of promises made at election time, which would then be achieved through public debts. All discussions about the differences between Northern and Southern states really hinge on this fact rather than the meaning of the euro itself. Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s Minister of Finance, underlined this by stressing that anybody who can receive money without conditions would also spend it. It is, so to speak, a conditio humana of anyone, regardless of whether they live in Germany, Italy, or Greece. Consequently, it also doesn’t matter in which currency the money made that way is ultimately spent.
Each member state of the European Union now faces an internal struggle to determine how overall politics should operate and and how economic policies should be crafted in the future. The term “growth” inevitably stands at the end of each discussion. Politicians on both sides of the political spectrum employ it frequently, although its meaning differs for each side. Following the discussions – some call them arguments – there will have to be a collective effort in order to translate each country’s different lessons into common directives.
In the political realm of the European Union, the challenge will be to shape institutions whilst safeguarding their democratic mandate. I am convinced that Europe has already embarked on this process; the coming months will be decisive.
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