Tim Brinton

Europa: das Undenkbare denken

CAMBRIDGE, MASS.: Als im Mai Griechenland im Rahmen einer gemeinsamen Aktion der Eurozone und des IWF gerettet wurde, war klar, dass damit nur ein vorübergehender Aufschub erkauft war. Jetzt ist es soweit: Irlands Schwierigkeiten drohen, auf Portugal, Spanien und sogar Italien überzugreifen; daher ist es nun an der Zeit, die Lebensfähigkeit der europäischen Währungsunion zu überdenken.

Dies zu äußern fällt mir nicht leicht, denn ich bin kein Euroskeptiker. Anders als andere (wie z.B. mein Harvard-Kollege Martin Feldstein), die argumentieren, dass Europa kein natürlicher Währungsraum sei, war ich der Ansicht, dass die Währungsunion im Zusammenhang eines breiteren europäischen Projekts, das zusammen mit der wirtschaftlichen Integration den Aufbau gemeinsamer politischer Institutionen betonte – und weiterhin betont –, absolut einleuchtend ist.

Europas Pech war, dass es bei seinem Integrationsprozess auf halbem Wege von der schlimmsten Finanzkrise seit den 1930er Jahren getroffen wurde. Die Eurozone war zu diesem Zeitpunkt zu stark integriert, als dass ein Chaos durch grenzübergreifende externe Effekte in den nationalen Volkswirtschaften hätte vermieden werden können, aber nicht so weit integriert, dass die zur Bewältigung der Krise erforderlichen institutionellen Kapazitäten vorhanden waren.

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