As Europe struggles to stay afloat with the ever-heavier burden of
debt-ridden Greece, some radical proposals are on offer. There were the
early bailout plans, the idea of giving Greece a "holiday" from the euro, an IMF-like European Monetary Fund, and even a two-euro solution.
It's not as if some sort of monetary breakup hasn't been proposed before. On Monday, though, Joachim Starbatty puts a twist on the usual argument, nicely articulating some of the frustration in Germany over the current crisis. He urges solvent Germany to pull a South Carolina: instead of Greece ditching the euro, Germany should, refusing to be dragged down by the poor economies of other member states. Here's his reasoning:
If Germany were to take that opportunity and pull out of the euro, it wouldn't be alone. The same calculus would probably lure Austria, Finland and the Netherlands--and perhaps France--to leave behind the high-debt states and join Germany in a new, stable bloc, perhaps even with a new common currency. This would be less painful than it might seem: the euro zone is already divided between these two groups, and the illusion that they are unified has caused untold economic complications.Starbatty, writing from Germany, even says that, with Greece & Co. well disposed of, the new German-led Euro 2.0 could "easily supersede the dollar as the global safe-haven currency," particularly if the U.S. should "fail to put in place a politically credible strategy to lower its own debt." The overall message of the op-ed is pretty clear: let's get all us responsible people together and leave these hot messes--be they Greece, France, or the U.S.--to their own devices.