The future of euroskepticism

Beppe Grillo, leader of Italy’s Five Star Movement, poses for photographers
Italy’s Five Star Movement, led by Beppe Grillo, has backtracked on some of its more extreme positons, and now says it only wants a debate on the euro (source: dpa)
  • Euroskeptic parties conflate the euro with unrelated economic and social issues
  • Their rise does not represent a real risk to the euro currency
  • Anti-immigration rhetoric, however, resonates with voters
  • This could present euroskeptic parties with a path to power

The future of the euro is not a technical matter. Of course, the quality of a currency should be evaluated by its capacity to preserve its purchasing power and to ensure that companies and individuals do not get distorted signals (for example, by artificially low interest rates). There is no doubt that from this viewpoint, the euro’s record is rather disappointing. Yet that record has not provoked any major outcry. The media have consistently ignored that the euro has lost about 20 percent of its purchasing power since its inception in January 2002. The public hardly complained when the European Central Bank cut interest rates to help troubled banks and heavily indebted governments.

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