Jacobin: The Greek debacle

„In 2008 the most careful estimate, from two economists favorable to integration, Barry Eichengreen and Andrea Boltho, concluded that it may have increased the GDP of the Common Market by 3–4 percent from the late fifties to the mid-seventies; that the impact of the European Monetary System was nugatory; that the Single European Act may have added another 1 percent; and that monetary union had scarcely any discernible effect on either rate of growth or level of output.

That was before the global financial crisis struck Europe. Since then, notoriously, the straightjacket of the single currency has been as disastrous for the Mediterranean South of the European Union (EU), as it has been advantageous for Germany, where wage repression—masking very low productivity growth—has given German industry a competitive whip-hand across the EU. As for growth rates, a glance at the economic performance of Britain or Sweden since Maastricht is enough to show how empty is the claim that the euro has been a particular blessing to any country other than its principal architect.“



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