by Jorge Amar
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty, which initiated the journey to the European Monetary Union (EMU). The lack of publicity and excitement with which this event has been received in Spain is remarkable, but unsurprising considering that we may soon see the abrupt ending of this social-economic experiment –unique in History– which has severed so many countries from their currencies and whose popular support is constantly falling in the polls (GALLUP 2016).
Neither the lessons on the history of previous monetary unions that were not part of a political union (1); nor the reports commissioned by the former European Economic Community itself in the 70s (2); nor the warnings and cautions given by several economists in the 90s (Wynne Godley among others); nor the lack of any proper debate in Spain about the European Monetary Union (questioning the monetary union in Spain amounted to political/professional suicide at the time –let us recall how Julio Anguita, former leader of the Spanish United Left, and many others were derided and insulted by the media for doing just that; History proved them right); nor the shocking evidence of the pro-cyclical failed polices prescribed by the Maastrich Treaty with youth unemployment rates over 50%; nor the crocodile tears shed by the IMF after implicitly admitting that Greece would have been better off leaving the euro area (Financial Times); not even the reluctance to join the ‘economic anorexia’ club by those countries that once pledged to do so (Sweden Poland)… None of that seems to make any difference in the group thinking of eurocrats and their advocates at home. [Read more…]