FRANKFURT — The euro turns 10 next January, a milestone that will be marked with celebratory speeches, inch-thick scholarly papers and a commemorative 2-euro coin, designed by a Greek sculptor. It was chosen from five candidates in an online poll of European residents.
For Greece (external - login to view), winning the coin contest may be the high point of the festivities. Seven years after forsaking its drachma for the euro, the Greek economy is faltering, inflation is spiking and exports have been hobbled by the surge of the euro against the dollar.Greece, said Thomas Mayer, the chief European economist at Deutsche Bank (external - login to view), is an “accident waiting to happen.”
By most yardsticks, Europe’s common currency has been a success, emerging as an alternative to the fading dollar for bond dealers, central bankers, Chinese exporters, even Jay-Z (external - login to view), the American rapper, who put a pop-cultural imprimatur on the currency by flashing a wad of 500-euro notes in a music video.
Yet fissures are forming in the European monetary union that threaten to widen in coming months.
Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain — the sun-drenched fraternity sometimes called Club Med — are struggling with eroding competitiveness, rising prices and bloated debts. Meanwhile, Germany, the sick man of Europe for most of the euro era, is suddenly vigorous again. Economically fit after years of reforms and fortified by brisk global demand for its machinery and other goods, it has fended off China to retain its status as the world’s export champion.
Europe’s monetary union may be lasting, but it is not widely loved.
Read full article here: www.nytimes.com/2008/05/01/wo...hp&oref=slogin (external - login to view)
An interesting article! Those southern countries have always been lagging. I heard they don't work as hard and vigorous as the northern countries, because of a hotter climate.Perhaps.... I don't know, if that could be the reason.
I think they did remarkably well, considering how young the Union and their new currency is.
Here is a video about a strong Euro versus a weaker Dollar. Americans have to dig deeper into their pockets when vacationing in Europe. Same goes for us Canadians!