The euro indeed plays a major role in the Greek drama, but the ultimate cause of the Greek economic turmoil lies somewhere else. The real problem is that the architects of the euro used it as a turbo that was meant to speed up the integration engine of the eurozone, while encouraging other European countries to do so as well.
We are witnessing the EU’s declining normative influence in three levels: inner circle of membership, middle circle of prospective members and outer circle of neighbourhood, and is expressed in the primacy of hard core economics, the weaker promotion of democracy, the inefficient political conditionality and the gradual realisation that illiberalism is becoming a threatening part of several national competitive politics.
I don’t believe that we need central banking, monetary policy or our national monetary unit. Without this, we can’t avoid two essential problems – politicization of the monetary politics and also its competitiveness. But by saying this I do not wish to imply that in this particular case of devaluation of the lari the central banking system was the major problem. Quite the opposite.
Competitiveness of Europe is lagging, pension systems keep ignoring the demographic trend, relative price of energy for industrial consumers is growing, there are popular jokes about labor markets in France or Italy, starting a business and tax compliance is still extremely demanding tasks in many of the member countries.
Giving up on reforms could send a very bad signal to the other problem countries (Portugal, Spain, Italy, France) where they are also key to growth.
An online tool created by Institute of Economic and Social Studies shows complete breakdown of member states’ costs and guarantees for the rescue of the Eurozone.
Six years in Spain mean six years of falling real estate prices. If you invested in the average Spanish house in 2008, today you have 35% loss on your investment.
Clueless looks of politicians will be once again drawn to the ECB. In addition to reports on starting recession, they are supported also by the legend of deflationary spiral that regularly emerges from monetary depths to destroy the shoots of economic success.
In case of San Francisco parking spaces, the city obviously rents out these spaces way below market price (or even free), which makes it financially interesting for (probably unemployed or underemployed) drivers to occupy them and sell them off for market rates.