Here is an extract from economist Colm McCarthy’s article in The Sunday Independent on Dec 2:
“The common currency project is a Franco-German political deal from the 1990s, which saw France support German reunification in exchange for German agreement to give up the Deutschmark and proceed to EMU, or Economic and Monetary Union. Unfortunately, not even a well-designed monetary union, never mind an economic union, emerged. The eurozone is just a currency union, lacking centralised oversight of the financial system and a central bank with full powers. It was vulnerable to budgetary excess, as in Greece, but also to banking bubbles, as in Spain and Ireland. Several EU member states refused to join, including Denmark and Sweden, and must now be feeling rather pleased with their decisions.
More importantly from Ireland’s standpoint, the United Kingdom, Ireland’s major trading partner, stayed out. In the mid-1990s, when the question of Irish membership was being discussed, proponents of entry, including former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, dismissed concerns about British non-membership and the strains which that might impose on Ireland. He expressed the view, widely held at the time, that Britain would join in due course. That did not happen and there is very little prospect that it will ever happen now, given the debacle which has unfolded.”
Read the full article: http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/colm-mccarthy-eus-reluctant-rescue-package-will-prevent-a-greek-tragedy-for-now-3311998.html