I am no economist, but I have been doing my best to understand the economic problems currently plaguing Europe. Cocktail party conversations have been enlightening, but have only confused me more.
People have strong opinions on whether Greece or Germany is a bad actor and about whether either of these countries, or any other, will leave the euro zone.
In the past week, two articles on this topic have piqued my interest. The first was written by Thomas Friedman for the New York Times, entitled Two Worlds Cracking Up. This is an interesting examination of the economic crisis in Europe, contrasted with the spike in violence in the Middle East.
The second is an article by Paul Krugman, also for the New York Times, entitled Greece as Victim.
While there are many opinions about what has caused the current crisis in Europe, there seems to be general agreement that the euro zone’s lack of a strong, cohesive governance model has contributed to the problems.
The financial problems in the euro zone are a shame. The US economy is also in a state of chaos, and opinions differ on what caused our financial meltdown as well, but at least our entire governing model is not in jeopardy.
Most of us will recall the optimism which accompanied the announcements when the euro zone was established. The concept that the European region would be more powerful if countries gave up some of their sovereignty in order to band together, on its face, was strong.
But as in most things in life, the devil is in the details.
What do you think? What do you see as the future for the euro zone? Do you believe that the lack of a strong governance model contributed to the problems? Do you see a way to remedy this issue or do you think that countries are too unwilling to give up their sovereignty to make this work? Do you think that the euro zone has helped or hurt Europe in the long run? What about in the short run? If you live in Europe, how has the euro zone benefitted or harmed you personally?
Again I am no expert on this – just an interested observer. I would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks so much for reading.