Referendum on the euro

Published on 10 May 2011 at 14:26

Just as American economists have predicted, the euro has become a divisive rather than a unifying force in Europe, remarksDie Zeit. "The North no longer wants to be paymaster, while the South wants to get rid of its taskmaster.” From a German perspective, German tax revenue is financing a life of luxury in Ireland, while the Irish complain that they are being forced to cut costs to save German banks. Eurosceptic parties are doing better than ever, as are nationalists, populists and other Cassandras. "History is not a linear process," warns the Hamburg daily, and "Europe could fall apart in the same way that it was united, if it remains an elitist project that does not involve Europe’s citizens, which is not on the agenda for proper democratic debate." Now that -

"... the credibility of established political forces has been undermined by awkward manoeuvres, perhaps the offensive tactic of a European referendum on the future of the euro could engender an exchange of arguments that might convince the sceptics. This would be a risky proposition in as much as it would not have a predetermined outcome, but in a democracy, it is impossible to govern without the support of the people. One thing is certain: the problems of the euro — no matter how serious they are — can be overcome. If the monetary union collapses, it will do so for political reasons."

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