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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Euro Convenience

In answer to a piece about the troubles of the Euro, Amelia Torres European Commission spokeswoman on economic affairs has written to the Guardian.
Having the same currency saves you time and money, allows you to compare prices abroad without fear of being cheated.
I love this one. She’s right of course, it does make life a lot easier when you are travelling, especially if you travel to more than one country. As a reason to give up your economic independence however, it’s a bit pathetic, like wanting a Fascist dictatorship so that the trains run on time.
The euro has also brought down inflation and interest rates to rarely seen levels. An Italian family borrowing €100,000 (£67,000) to buy a house in 1993 would have paid a bit more than €1,500 a month for a 10-year mortgage. Today it would pay about €1,050 a month.
Again true, but… 1) The Italian economy is in ruins, due to massive uncompetitiveness. 2) The family have a cheap mortgage but their children can’t find jobs. 3) Granddad can no longer live off his savings, because the interest rate is too low. Meanwhile, that low interest rate has enabled the Italian Government to continuing behaving as frugally as a somewhat inebriated sailor on shore leave. And then there is the classic line:
The suggestion that Italy could solve its problems by going back to the lira and devaluing it forgets the trauma and costs of the UK's exchange rate problems in the early 90s.
After which the UK has had an unbroken run of 5 squillion quarters of growth, as the equally inebriated sailor, Mr Brown like to tell us. At the time, it was painful, but the benefit of financial sovereignty has been an economy that is the envy of Europe. I for one wouldn’t give that up for a mere easier holiday.

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