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The Euro Crisis and Its Aftermath$
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Jean Pisani-Ferry

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199993338

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199993338.001.0001

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Only One Bed for Two Dreams

Only One Bed for Two Dreams

Chapter:
(p.33) Chapter 4 Only One Bed for Two Dreams
Source:
The Euro Crisis and Its Aftermath
Author(s):

Jean Pisani-Ferry

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199993338.003.0004

The architects of the euro could see that an independent central bank and a mechanism to enforce budgetary discipline were not enough to ensure the new currency’s viability. They could see that a lasting monetary union was bound to require something more, but could not agree on what this “something” was. Jacques Delors, then president of the European Commission, saw the euro as a milestone on the road to an even more ambitious endeavor: a “federation of nation-states.” German chancellor Helmut Kohl largely spoke of “political union”, while Mitterrand’s France spoke of “economic government”. Both these expressions were borne of the same intuition, but superficial differences obscured deeper convergence and fuelled suspicion. In the end, the euro was created without significant political foundations and without any mechanisms for solidarity between countries, and Eurozone countries were left to deal with the challenges and risks associated with the common currency on their own.

Keywords:   Europe, euro, monetary union, Jacques Delors, European Commission, Helmut Kohl, Germany, France, political union, economic government

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