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Wed Jun 27, 2012, 02:37 PM

Save the Euro - who for?

Published Jun 27 2012 by OpenDemocracy, Archived Jun 27 2012

by David Malone


The strongest force holding the Euro together is the political force of creditors. Were the currency to collapse, much of the debt would collapse with it. So the question is, who are we saving the Euro for?

Once again, George Soros exhorts European leaders to save the Euro. But what does this curious phrase ‘Save the Euro’ actually mean?

The Euro is not like the Giant Panda: a cuddly creature that ornaments our world. The Euro is not one thing. It is different things to different groups. It’s a currency used in day to day transactions by people who live in a group of semi-sovereign nations. It is part of the underpinning of the European political experiment we call the EU. It is a settlement currency which rivals the Dollar. As such it is part of Europe’s challenge to American hegemony both financial and political. It is the currency in which a huge amount of wealth is denominated. And last but by absolutely no means least it is one of the global currencies in which a truly titanic amount of private and sovereign debt is denominated.

So when George Soros and various politicians and bankers insist on exhorting us to ‘Save the Euro’ might it not be helpful if they could at least be clear what exactly they have in mind to be saved, who will benefit if it is, who will lose if it isn’t and who will pay either way?

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