The strong euro, experienced as a “salutary pressure” by Germany, not to mention Austria or Finland, represents a genuine handicap for other “Euroland” states (Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal etc.) that have been weakened by the economic and financial crisis and are unable to conform to the Stability and Growth Pact, agreed in 1997 for the purpose of avoiding excessive public deficits. “The Union has cocked a snook at the treaties’, notes Pierre Bonnaure in this article and this “generalized indiscipline” cannot go on.
In Bonnaure’s view, “the virtuous countries will not put up with paying for the others’ laxity for very long” and the risks of seeing the Euro zone reject its defaulting members — or even dissolve itself — are not to be underestimated. And yet, adds the author, this crisis situation may also be an opportunity for the Union to relaunch itself, as has happened in the past, but such a “remarkable step forward” would require significant sacrifices from the member states and their peoples.