Chris Van Es

Der nackte Euro

LONDON – Dramatische Herausforderungen und mittelmäßige Antworten: das ist die Geschichte der Europäischen Union. Allzu selten ist die EU den Anforderungen der Ereignisse gewachsen und aus diesem Grund schwindet auch Europas ökonomische und geopolitische Bedeutung.

Der Vertrag von Rom aus dem Jahr 1958, mit dem die Europäische Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft gegründet wurde, markierte Europas großen Sprung nach vorn. Aber die Entscheidung, einen gemeinsamen Markt ohne gemeinsame Regierung zu etablieren, bedeutete einfach nur die Verschiebung der Schwierigkeiten auf einen späteren Zeitpunkt. Alles, was seither geschah – die Erweiterung der EU auf 27 Mitglieder und die Schaffung der Eurozone mit 16 Mitgliedsländern – hat die Kluft zwischen Rhetorik und Realität noch vertieft. Euroland hat viel mehr versprochen, als es aufgrund seiner Entwicklung halten konnte.

Die griechische Finanzkrise ist das jüngste Beispiel für diese Kluft zwischen Realität und Rhetorik. Im Grunde handelt es sich dabei um eine Krise der „Erweiterung“, in diesem Fall der Erweiterung der Eurozone. Beispiellose Anstrengungen hinsichtlich Haushaltsdisziplin in den 1990er Jahren – denen man in Griechenland mit kreativer Buchhaltung nachgeholfen hat – ermöglichten es Portugal, Italien, Griechenland und Spanien (abfällig auch PIGS genannt) im Jahr 2002 die Beitrittskriterien zu erfüllen. Aber kaum waren sie dabei, ließ der Druck auch schon nach. Die meisten Mittelmeerländer setzten ihr Leben auf großem Fuß fort und vertrauten darauf, dass die Märkte sie dafür nicht zur Rechenschaft ziehen würden.

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