Der Euro als Fundament

Der Euro ist jetzt sechs Jahre alt. Es ist schon seit langem Zeit zu bewerten, was er leistet und ob er den Erwartungen entspricht, die bei seiner Geburt an ihn gestellt wurden.

Die Erwartungen waren nicht bescheiden. Die europäische Einheitswährung sollte durch Senkung der Transaktionskosten und Abschaffung des Wechselkursrisikos zu vollständig integrierten Produkt- und Finanzmärkten führen. Dadurch sollten wiederum größere Handelsgewinne, härterer Wettbewerb, höhere Kapitalströme über die Grenzen hinweg, niedrigere Fremdkapitalkosten und mehr Möglichkeiten zur Risikoteilung entstehen. Von all dem wurde erwartet, dass letztlich Investitionen und Produktivität angekurbelt würden.

Die Wirklichkeit ist enttäuschend. Verglichen mit den fünf Jahren vor Einführung des Euro 1999 hat sich das Produktivitätswachstum seitdem in Italien, Deutschland, Spanien und den Niederlanden verlangsamt, während es in demselben Zeitraum in Dänemark, Schweden und Großbritannien – den EU-Mitgliedern, die außen vor blieben – zunahm oder konstant blieb. Abgesehen von Frankreich, scheint der Euro tatsächlich kein Segen für die Länder zu sein, die ihn eingeführt haben.

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