Creating the single currency
The triumph of ideology over good sense
in Europe’s path to crisis
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Among some of its most fervent advocates, European Monetary Union was meant to bring about the final merging of European destinies into a common political entity. This chapter explores the long term preparations that were made to create a single currency encompassing a large part of the European Union. It shows how the impetus was essentially political, to erode the power of the nation-state and speed up the installation of a supra-national alternative through hurtling towards monetary union. For most of the existence of the European Union, the push towards integration has involved political leaders trying to achieve common ground around a uniform monetary policy for Europe. The euro was exposed as top-down political project in the hands of politicians, functionaries and lobbyists who had lost touch with some essential aspects of political reality. From 2009 onwards, the limitations of the euro were exposed by a deepening financial crisis.

Europe’s path to crisis

Disintegration via monetary union

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