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    National Review | 5/13/20 | 16 min
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    National Review
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    • jeff
      Top reader this weekReading streakScribe
      2 months ago

      Great analysis. It's going to be very interesting to see how this plays out.

    • SEnkey
      2 months ago

      This is a descriptive piece without too much commentary, it does a good job laying out the challenges the EU has always faced and how those challenges are currently presenting.

      And that brings the focus back onto the contradictions at the heart of a currency union that should never have been born. To have any chance of flourishing, the currency union needs to be supplemented by a fiscal union, but a fiscal union continues to be opposed by the euro zone’s “north,” which rightly fears that it would be stuck subsidizing a profligate “south” in perpetuity. At the same time, the “north” is unwilling to run the risks that breaking up the euro zone would involve, so much so that it continues to ignore even the least bad option, splitting the euro into northern and southern units.

      I think that sums up the challenge pretty well. What is the purpose of the EU? As a unified Europe to protect members interest? That is a great aim, but it doesn't require fiscal unity. As a trade federation? That is difficult and does. I don't think they ever worked out those details to a level that is required by changing circumstances.

      One more challenge, Europeans remain an ethnic people. A German is a German, you can move there, learn the language, even become a citizen, but you will never really be a German. Same with France, Italy, Spain, etc. It's hard to forge federalist bonds between independent nations when there isn't a unifying force, and in fact there is a history that drives in the opposite direction.

      Put in a different way, an American (meaning US citizen/person) could be from anywhere -Mexico, China, New York, North Carolina, South Africa. But a Spaniard must be from Spain.