Is this the Euro’s make-or-break moment?

This analysis (by NUI Galway economist Alan Ahearne) of what the Greek crisis means for Europe reminds one of the heady days in winter 2011 when Angela Merkl declared her readiness to do “whatever it takes” to preserve the Euro. Ahearne makes a strong argument that saving the Euro will now require politically heroic steps from the EU and its member states. Notwithstanding her earlier declaration, conditions today do not augur well for Merkl’s willingness or ability to pull the Euro back from the edge. She has not explained to German voters how much  European integration has contributed to their recent economic success, while her CDU-CSU government has been weakened by regional defeats that probably reduce her room for maneuver. And given France’s relative weakness, and the French public’s growing Euro-skepticism, Francois Hollande’s apparent willingness to contemplate deeper integration may not be enough to complete a deal with Berlin. Thus we are left wondering, like observers of the U.S. Civil War, whether this crisis will be the end of the (currency) union or the catalyst to an unprecedented expansion of federal power in favour of a collective future that remains misunderstood and/or unpopular in various quarters.

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