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Europe's OrphanThe Future of the Euro and the Politics of Debt$
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Martin Sandbu

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691175942

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691175942.001.0001

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A Giant Historic Mistake?

A Giant Historic Mistake?

(p.1) One A Giant Historic Mistake?
Europe's Orphan

Martin Sandbu

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the euro's birth and failure. The euro was supposed to strengthen the union between European nation states by allowing the poorer ‘peripheral’ countries to catch up with the richer core, increasing prosperity for all, as well as permanently channelling the growing strength of a reunified Germany into a common European destiny. Instead, the periphery found itself abandoned by financial markets and fell into an economic black hole. The call for more German money put Berlin firmly in the driver's seat of European policymaking. In the rest of Europe, voters, creditors and debtors alike felt angry and disempowered. Rather than being the crowning glory of Europe's successful reconciliation, the common currency came to look more like a millstone around the continent's neck.

Keywords:   euro, European nation states, Germany, financial markets, German money, European policymaking, Berlin

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