SURELY this needs talking about? My colleague Nick Booth asked this rhetorically in his email accompanying a link to an article just published by the German-based Centre for European Policy, entitled 20 years of the Euro: Winners and Losers.
It does. Cep has analysed which countries have gained from the euro and which ones have lost out. The results are stark, as their summary shows:
Germany has gained by far the most from the introduction of the euro; almost €1.9trillion between 1999 and 2017. This amounts to around €23,000 per inhabitant.
Otherwise, only the Netherlands has gained substantial benefits from the introducing the euro.
In the first few years after its introduction, Greece gained hugely from the euro but since 2011 has suffered enormous losses. Over the whole period, the balance of €2billion or €190 per inhabitant, is only just positive.
In all the other countries analysed, the euro has resulted in a drop in prosperity: €3.6trillion in France and as much as €4.3trillion in Italy. In France, this amounts to €56,000 per capita and in Italy €74,000.
A quick Google search on my part suggests that this has not been picked up here by the mainstream media. The only references I found to it were on Reddit and on TRT World (the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation).
I may be entirely wrong and am very happy to be corrected if this story has featured in the Financial Times or anywhere else for that matter, and I just missed it.
It’s certainly the stuff of a newsworthy story. The simple fact is that 20 years since its introduction, the euro remains controversial. Far from helping former Eastern Bloc countries, it may have hindered their development. More shocking is the effect the euro has had on France and Italy.
Gordon Brown really does deserve a major vote of thanks from the nation for saving us from this particular destiny.