Eurozone

Euro Crisis Personified

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Obviously this blog has been on hiatus for awhile (due to comprehensive exams and dissertation proposal work), I hope to resume in the summer.

In the meantime, here is an excellent map sent to me by my friend David that actually personifies the current euro crisis — France is represented by an aging (but staggering) population while Spain is a carefree lush. I think my favorite is the clean cut Finland, who seems to be laughing at its southern neighbors.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/11/30/magazine/mag-04economy-map.html?emc=eta1

The only way forward is….forward.

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This post seeks to highlight two of the (many) viewpoints that have been circulating about the viability of the European project, given the financial instability plaguing the Eurozone. Both, however, advocate further integration to solve Europe’s problems.

The first is from the current acting chief of the IMF, John Lipisky (and soon to be replaced, now that Lagarde has been chosen as the new head of the IMF), from a recent Economist article

He is basically encouraging Europeans to take a more cohesive approach to solving the financial stability of the Eurozone by deepening the single market and strengthening the regulatory ability of the EU in monetary issues (and also weakening practices that result in national protection, etc.).

See article here: http://www.economist.com/blogs/charlemagne/2011/06/euro-crisis?fsrc=scn/fb/wl/bl/mrimfsaysmoreeuropeplease

Now contrast that with an interesting take that brings us back to early American history. Matthew Yglesias advocates for a “Hamiltonian” solution for Europe, that would essentially consolidate member state obligations into a Eurozone-wide debt, a maneuver undertaken by Hamilton after the mess that was the Articles of Confederation. Yglesias admits himself that the idea is unlikely, but still another argument from a differently-placed perspective advocating the further integration of the EU as times get tough. [Funnily enough, during the course of my fieldwork in Brussels, I encountered the Articles of Confederation reference no less than three times recently during interviews].

Article here: http://thinkprogress.org/yglesias/2011/06/19/248163/a-hamiltonian-solution-for-europe/

It seems more than ever that the focus of the future of Europe actually rests on credibility – the notion that the level of commitment by member states needs to be clear, and the deepening of integration is a credible signal of cohesion. Both articles well worth reading.