Quest Means Business   « Back to Blog Main
February 19, 2010
Posted: 1534 GMT

Many Europeans were quick to blame America for starting the global recession. It's true that too many US homeowners over borrowed from overzealous banks, but we've since discovered that whole countries in Europe could be accused of doing a similar thing.

Was the Euro a bad idea?

To get through the financial crisis, many governments borrowed more. Some may have gone too far. Greece is now struggling to keep up with its debts, and that's shocking to investors who didn't expect to hear that from a Eurozone country.

They would normally be more than happy to lend to a country like Greece by buying bonds. Now investors are thinking twice because they see a risk in getting their money back. Not only that, they are wondering if other countries are just as risky.

You don't have to go far to see that Portugal, Ireland and Spain all have very high deficits. Even the UK, a major world economy, may have been cavalier with its finances.

So far, the Greek debt crisis is just that – Greek. But if neighbouring countries go the same way, it will be a huge test of the Eurozone.

How do you set one interest rate across a zone where one part is sinking into recession whilst the other is trying to recover?

Eurosceptics have long argued that if you are going to have one interest rate you also need to set one central budget. In the Eurozone you have one interest rate and many budgets. That's why a single currency works in the US and why it doesn't in Europe, as Greece is proving.

We want to know what you think.

Do you think the Euro was a bad idea?

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Haggus   February 19th, 2010 3:43 pm ET

The Euro itself wasn't a bad idea, but if they don't enforce the rules on these rogue nations, it will fail.

Alberto   February 19th, 2010 5:55 pm ET

I'll argue the contrary. That Greece is in trouble now precisly because it had interests with the banks that have used bad debt investments and that it has invested itself in those investments. I would say the blame is still to be found on the other side of the Atlantic...

Ricardo   February 19th, 2010 5:56 pm ET

Maybe the Eurozone had expanded to fast and it has proved that not all countries had the same level of commitment.

Nicolaas Smith   February 19th, 2010 5:57 pm ET

Richard Quest, The perfect picture is one world one currency. That is far in the future. The world will be much better off without Wall Street bankers with no values. To make a quick buck, Goldman Sachs bankers apparently misled the Greek government as well as investors: a story we hear more and more lately about Wall Street bankers.

So, Richard, get your bankers to be good scouts first, before you come and tell us that the Euro is a bad idea. You are totally wrong as far as the Euro is concerned.

Nicolaas Smith

lauratheexpat   February 19th, 2010 6:11 pm ET

No, I don't think it was a bad idea. It's just that some of the operating assumptions underlying its ability to stand as a single currency may be faulty. Europe as a single economic entity with the ability to support/bolster individual country economies only goes as far as the ability of each country in the Eurozone to adequately manage its own budget as well as its economic and labor policies. Indeed, the Euro is only as strong as its weakest link.

Concerned   February 19th, 2010 6:14 pm ET

One World Order is here, and has been for a while.

Look up the Bilderberg Group. This grouping of ultra wealthy moguls from the corporation, political, and royal arenas, has been meeting since the 50's to homogenize would economies, and thus control them.

Is the Euro a good idea? Not in my book, and further, look out soon for the Amero to hit us.

The illusion of democratic rule is just that. We are an oligarchy.

Gman23   February 19th, 2010 6:15 pm ET

I believe it was a bad idea. The Euro will only work, if all Nations in the Eurozoone can maintain positive growth. Any long term downturn, like we have recently experienced, will affect member countries differently. Under the Euro, the need to bail out member countries will be a continual issue, or if not bailing out, lower performing countries will be a drag on the others. That is why the U.S. will maintain a dominance in terms of economic growth, on the Euro zone for the foreseeable future.

Tomaž   February 19th, 2010 6:27 pm ET

Euro only makes an existing problem more visible. Various US states have differing growth rates and some would benefit from higher or lower interest rates as well. Since the US always had a single currency (civil war and such notwithstanding), it's only natural that this same problem isn't very much visible.

Obviously the same problem was present in Europe before. German state of Saxony would benefit most from a different interest rate than Bavaria. It just never came up, since it was readily accepted that both should naturally use the same currency.

What Euro needs is a strict application of budget rules – even if those are somewhat relaxed – by all participating nations. This includes France, Germany, Italy as well as all smaller ones, like Greece and Estonia.
Overall, Euro is a major success. The fact it isn't better from the old system in each and every way doesn't make it a mistake.

bonolo   February 19th, 2010 6:33 pm ET

the euro works well for me... I'm in telecoms in south africa, so many companies wanting deals b4 the world cup, dealing with the dollar and euro only works our lovely for me. Very stable... I can't keep track of 10 currencies

Adam   February 19th, 2010 6:36 pm ET

The Euro Zone has grown too fast, but the main reason it is bad is that most of the Europeans were not asked, if they wanted it. This is not democracy.

Tony   February 19th, 2010 6:41 pm ET

Remember the days when the Euro was at 80 cents to the US Dollar, and the British Tories were telling us how weak the Euro was going to be. And now there is some fear because it might fall below 1 Euro 30 to Dollar (and where is the puny Pound at the moment?).

Momentary glitch.

Of course it is a good idea. No changing currencies when crossing borders, no being ripped off by money changers, no being dictated to by currency speculators setting country against country for their own benefit. It will survive and be back above 1 Dollar 40 before long.

Sergio   February 19th, 2010 6:45 pm ET

Why do you think those countries are having budget difficulties in the first place? Look at the case of California. What's the root of their problems? Rising unemployment resulting in lower tax revenues. It's exactly the same thing in European countries. In the Spanish case in particular, an over-reliance of the economy on real estate and the subsequent collapse of that bubble led to the loss of millions of jobs, and thus to reduced tax revenue, and hence the rising budget deficits. This has nothing to do with the euro, per se, and everything to do with the American flu.

What?   February 19th, 2010 6:58 pm ET

One currency for 20 governments... Will not work . If a small country goes into trouble because of it's own faults then the bigger countries will punish it. However if two major economic nations go two different economic philosophies then it would be harder to control the stability of the currency.
1 nation =1 currency = stable/20 nations= 1 currency= unpredictable

Londonmarcus   February 19th, 2010 7:03 pm ET

Interesting to think that if the UK were in the eurozone it would be the economy that is most at risk. After all what is the the uk these days but a vast collection of sink estates inhabited by underaged mothers, fanactical children of muslim immigrants and normal Brits trying to find the best place to immigrate to

Niko Angelis   February 19th, 2010 7:11 pm ET

A distracting question; was going to the moon a bad idea? There have been and there will be failures and some tough decisions are needed indeed. Yet the world is becoming a smaller place with a growing need for efficiency, sustainability, understanding and cooperation. We need common tools and rules, such as a single currency in order to face a common future.

Mikael   February 19th, 2010 7:18 pm ET

The Euro project is not a bad idea. Letting populistic politicians run public budget deficits year after year out without any realistic plan of ever balancing spending and income, rather, is a very bad idea!

ana petrov   February 19th, 2010 7:18 pm ET

Mr Max,
time will get you the best answer. It´s always the best criterion. In my opinion, it´ll be hard to achieve that the EURO survive despite a good /bad idea on beginings!

Richard   February 19th, 2010 7:22 pm ET

Euro was a good idea, only for the more developed economies of Europe.
For the less developed, Maastricht should have predicted a form of rigorous and VERIFIABLE economic adjustment before such country could become part of the Eurozone.
And in case things turn bad, like nowadays in Greece, the treaty should have predicted some kind of bail out by the ECB or even the return of the old currency, previous to the Euro.
It wouldn´t be a bad idea at all if the Greeks could adopt their old Dracma back and devaluate it.
A little inflation is less harmful than the worst of the recessions.

eberhard stockmann   February 19th, 2010 8:03 pm ET

i am german and I think the euro was and is a good idea. Now the euro devaluation vs the dollar is very welcome and has a extremly positive effect., independently of the reason. Imagine the euro continues to devaluate, BMW and Mercedes will flood the Us. On the other hand more expensive sneakers for european turists in the Us is not nice but should be compensated for a stronger economy at home.

theboldcorsicanflame   February 19th, 2010 8:09 pm ET

YES for the middle class it has ruined them
Since the Euro the prices have been multiplied by 6 or 7...Most people are getting poorer by the minute. It was a bad idea not to make the United States of Europe. In France we don't how we will be able to live in the near future since everything is really really expensive and our wadges are getting lower and lower. Now we can't go backwards but this will cause many conflicts.

Tyler   February 19th, 2010 8:14 pm ET

Are you seriously going to point fingers at Eurozone countries for racking up huge debts without taking a look in the mirror at the US? You make it sound as if some Eurozone governments contributed to this crisis by borrowing too much while the United States is not to blame.

In any case, the Euro has expanded too far. It makes sense for a set of countries with similar monetary policies (like Germany and France), but for regions with drastically different needs to monetary policy, it's a recipe for distastre. This is espeicially true if there is not a central body that can direct fiscal policy.

Hell, the United States is plagued by this same problem.

Phil de Buquet   February 19th, 2010 8:31 pm ET

The formation of the Iron and Steel Federation, then the EEC, then the EC, and finally the EU is OK for the original countries perhaps but not when smaller countries "cooked the books" to get the handouts and goodie bags. The EU is the modern day version of the USSR, this is demonstrated every day, despite what they say, the EU is socialist inspired, they don't like democracy.

The EU is most certainly not a good idea for the British. We now have two governments, the EU and Westminster. Both are built on lies, both of them being socialist are excellent at wasting our money and "fiddling the books". We don't need EU political liars we have more than enough of our own. What the British people want is honesty.

Blondguy69   February 19th, 2010 9:00 pm ET

Definitely bad execution on Europes part. I lived in Germany for 15 years and watched the butcher shop next door simply place a Euro symbol beside the price and scratch off the DM. Sale items were not valuated to the new Euro cost and anyone who believes they were is simply naieve. Costs went up, while salaries etc. went effectively down. A grand Bait and Switch on an immense scale is what happened. The English saw the writing on the wall and were smart to keep the Pound Sterling. I know for a fact that most Germans do not like the effects of the Euro since its inception.

mike   February 19th, 2010 9:09 pm ET

Euro was a bad idea. I do not believe anyone benefitted much at all as a whole. In Italy for example, the cost of living nearly doubled while salaries stayed the same. One common thing that I see a lot, is items that are priced $299 in the U.S. are priced 299 Euro here.

Prior to the Euro pricing was done in a much better way. Ask anyone here in Italy if they are better off now or when the Lira was the currency. Nobody will say they are better off now.

Steve   February 19th, 2010 9:13 pm ET

The PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain) used to be great places to live and vacation because they were cheap. Since the Euro, everything is expensive. Something is wrong.

marco poropat   February 19th, 2010 9:20 pm ET

Euro Zone = many languages , cultures , differnt goverments , what does that tell you ?????? no way can they be united .... let them go back to basics and get there own currency .

raoul   February 19th, 2010 9:34 pm ET

the UK is not part of the EURO currency they kept their pound

Note that Sweden also kept its currency

I would put the US $ and the Euro in the same bag

David Malta   February 19th, 2010 9:46 pm ET

The Euro, in my opinion, was definitely a good idea. Mainly due to it's practicality for businesses, banks, consumers and governments. It was needed and was very beneficial to the EU. Although it was a great plan and achievement, the legislation did not cater for certain situations which were nor foreseen. On the other hand if the proper Euro legislation guide lines and rules had been followed thoroughly, namely 3% max deficit, 2% max inflation and limit on public debt, then this problem would have been avoided all together. So the problem does not lie with the Euro, it was allowed to happen by the previous Greek administration and Brussels which was too lenient with country's non-adherence to statistical benchmarks. Now no use crying over spilt milk, the EU will learn its lesson but needs to be proactive with addressing this crisis and sort out the problems being faced by Ireland, Portugal and Spain. Preferably not by injecting too much cash in their ecomonies but by helping them increase economic activity. This measure will also need adjusting of the EU's stringent economic, government assistance and competition rules. The EU cannot, definitely, avoid injecting some capital here or providing guarantees but while the Euro remains weak, the balance of payments can improve. From this situation, EU countries will hopefully understand that the rules imposed are not only beneficial for the whole bloc but mainly for each individual country and these countries have to become more practical when it comes to the passing legislations to easy and improve central governing of the whole EU bloc. Following and in conjuction with this recovery / restructuring of these weak economies is a review of the EU ecomonic strategy and the expansion of the Eurozone to the other EU veteran countries which will help give back strenght to the Euro, possibly including the UK, Norway and Switzerland. The final stage would be to extend to Euro to the new EU countries Eastwards with this re-positioned strategy and currency system to make the Euro re-emerge as the only real save currency taking over the $, Yen and Gold.

PFC Small   February 19th, 2010 10:01 pm ET

The Euro is a bad idea for a lot of regions but other places it isn't so detrimental to the economy. I am currently stationed in Germany, and most Germans will tell you that the switch to the Euro was a terrible tragedy for Germany. The German Mark was about 2-1 for the Euro. Due to the lack of regulation, when Germany made the switch, the stores only replaced the symbol of the currency used to purchase items and kept the numbers the same while employers matched the exchange rate of the Euro. In short, Germans were not being paid half, but only one quarter of their normal salary respectively. The German economy plummeted, and now they are still working to recover from the economic damage that the Euro has done to them.

FreD   February 19th, 2010 10:05 pm ET

California and some other US states are close to bankrupcy too. Maybe you should headline on the dollar not being so good an idea either.
Or maybe not, as it would not serve wall street interests as much as ruining greece.

john   February 19th, 2010 10:15 pm ET

Euro is a wonderful idea and an important step for European unity. Many people do not know that over 20 years before the Euro was launched, several currencies were already linked to the German mark with a fixed exchange rate. These countries included The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg and others the Euro zone. So, for these countries and people the Euro did not bring anything new.

The rules about budget deficit set up for the Euro zone are positive for Society at large and the economy. Politicians in any country are not free anymore to overspend their national budget. Their only remaining power is to blame the Euro for all problems, and some are likely to become experts in this game. So, in time of economic trouble, many will complain about the currency.

Bernard   February 19th, 2010 10:17 pm ET

I'm from Belgium and I can tell you one thing: the euro is a life saver. From vacation going to company deals everyone in the euro zone benefits in one way or the other. No to even mention that it is a major bond for the EU people. So I don't care if Britan and it's citizens still want to be seperated from the continent but don't take it out on the euro.

Mike   February 19th, 2010 10:21 pm ET

I ready for a 1euro to 1$ exchange rate! Bring it!

Samazing   February 19th, 2010 10:28 pm ET

I don't think that the Euro was a bad idea.

First of all, I think it's important to mention that thanks to the Euro, The EU got pretty well through the Economic Crises. It's been a strong, stable and valuable currency so far, and it is a great step in the right direction – European Union.

There is one negative point to consider though:
The Members of the Union should have paid more attention on the financial situation of each Memberstate. Countries like Greece with a flawed governmental and financial system should have received the Euro in first place.

dh   February 19th, 2010 10:28 pm ET

Euro and Euro-zone yes but strictly without selfish British.

Macheal   February 19th, 2010 10:40 pm ET

The old Ponzi scam live son and on. The Euro may have had it good intentions to unit many countries, but in reality it turns out that it purposely keeps interest rates high in order that the European banks are able to borrow at low rates from the American banks and then the European banks lend it out to East European countries, and/or businesses, mortgages , etc at much higher rates. Thus, also, the borrowed dollar becomes a reserve, with reserves, there is 1.25% printed Euros that circulates amongst the citizen, thus false prosperity. Also, the eastern European countries are unable to repay the west Europeans of a recession, and so the chain reaction bounces back to the American banks who were not paid back by the European scammer banks. The reaction goes on, Europe rates are still stronger (falsely). Thus the old Ponzi game will continue again....and again!!

The Europeans have higher inflation, less gross products and much higher unemployment, thus where is this strong Euro justified!!
The Euro is a Ponzi scam, borrow low, and lend high!! Does it take a Phd to understand that!!

Keith, La Rioja, Spain   February 20th, 2010 12:06 am ET

The economic woes of Greece – and other EU countries, like Spain, Ireland or Portugal, – should not and cannot be blamed on the Euro.
I think the US $ is far more to blame, as it is precisely in the false banking system of the US – Lehman Brothers, AIG, J.P.Morgan, etc. as well as investors "betting on air" – who drove the whole world in to recession.
In the US people are angry because there is 10% unemployment. Listen, Americans: here in Spain we have nearly 20% unemployment because of YOUR financial system trying to make money out of nothing, out of false economy.
The Euro is NOT the problem – the problem is the US system of banking and investing on thin air. And this mentality has infected economies in the whole world. Above all, economies linked to the USA – like Great Britain, for example.
I always dreamed of a united Europe – I was born in 1945.........
Now my dream has come true: Europe is the cradle of civilisation, and the USA is but a "province". Stop cavilling and criticising the Euro – it is worth more then your dollar: 550 million people already use it.
OK, we have problems in Europe, but we will survive, we will overcome the present economic situation, as will also Japan and China. But I muchly fear that the USA will not.
The only hope YOU have is that President Obama can make HIS intelligence reach the most backward in the rural interior of America who grow peanuts and wheat; only then can we hope for a more balanced economic dialogue – whatever happens in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea........
I hope I have spoken clearly

alan   February 20th, 2010 12:25 am ET

Its a good idea, however they should have brought in the third world counties a little slower. The Euro is a challenge to the dollar so of course we the US don't like it. Its in our best interest for it to fail. Perhaps we can push Greece off a cliff and see what else may fall.
If the Euro does succeed then we'll have to break out the Amero
to compete. We'll have some catching up to do.

mauskeu   February 20th, 2010 2:27 am ET

The Euro as such is a good idee.
What is not helping is if Countries gain entry by cheating and if
banks like GS help them achieving it.
The exceptionally bad circumstances of the current crisis put
additional strain on the Euro.
All participants in the Euro will understand that the advantages
are larger than the disadvantages at the end.They must keep
their own house in order to make it working.

jan   February 20th, 2010 3:26 am ET

I do not really understand the fuzz here. Calling this a Greek crisis is yellow journalism at its best. It is a hard time, Greece does not have oil, diamonds or whatever, there is no war around. Whenever bad weather hits Florida, no one in Europe calls this Florida crisis and opens a debate whether it will affect US currency.

Carlos Arroyo   February 20th, 2010 4:31 am ET

The Euro was and is a good idea badly administered by we know who.

Martin Ghéczy, Switzerland   February 20th, 2010 5:46 am ET

The value of rules, agreements or laws in general is directly linked to their enforceability. Also the Eurozone and the EU in general have a problem of discipline and maturity, ranging from budget deficits to subsidy fraud. With its centralistic structure, the EU shows a lack of basic democracy and individual accountability for member countries. If the EU does not fundamentally reform itself, it will degenerate further into a club of selfish nations that regard the whole thing as a big pot where you can take out more than you put in.

Heide   February 20th, 2010 6:18 am ET

The Euro was definitely a bad idea. I lived in Italy for 15 years and witnessed first hand the change in currency from Lira to Euro and we were all devastated by it. In an instant we were paying double for everything from food to utility bills. Do you think that the wages were doubled as well? You guessed it, they remained exactly the same. This means that Italians and other countries involved in the EU nations are really suffering for the incompetent decisions made by the political leaders in those countries.
And to comment the article, it's much too easy to blame someone else, or in this case another nation, for bad choices made.

Philip V.   February 20th, 2010 6:27 am ET

The Euro is a currency with an Achilles heel. Strong, yet unpredictable.

I do not regret the introduction of the currency. People have been complaining since the beginning and only now do they really have a arguement to make. I remember the days when crossing borders in Europe you had to constantly switch money, not knowing what it value was. I am glad that is the past. The Euro is not only a currency, it is a symbol of how far Europe has come since WW2 and of the challenges that lay ahead.

Timur   February 20th, 2010 6:55 am ET

Countries with diverging social, political, economical and international interests who are not masters of their own currency and therefore of their own economical path are bound to eventually face a head on collision.

Daniël Mantione   February 20th, 2010 8:23 am ET

What people fail to understand is how the euro is helping Greece. Without euro, the drachme would have dropped enormously, requiring Greece to have a policy of deadly high interrest rates, causing a very deep recession. Watch Iceland if you need an example.

With euro, the goverment is cutting its expenses more that it would have without (which is a good thing) and at the same the country can experience a very stimulating monetary policy. There is no exchange rate to worry about and very little danger of inflation. Thanks to the euro, Greece is capable of solving this situation by itself, and with proper pressure from Brussel it will solve it.

Granted, the euro lost 10% of its value compared to 3 months ago. So what? We started at an EURUSD of $1.15. The euro was a good idea, it is still the dollar that is the weak currency. The real country that you need to worry about, in my opinion is the U.K. It has no protection from the euro, its deficit situation is as bad as in Greece, and it has a very hard hit financial sector and economy.

alia   February 20th, 2010 8:32 am ET

Many of us living in Europe were against the Euro which was heavily pushed by France and Germany. In the Netherlands our politicos admitted later that it really wasn't a good idea but didn't listen to the people because they felt we were too stupid to understand the situation. Ha-ha-ha. We now have a currency with tiny coins (which people can't see) that are not accepted in many stores, the 1 and 2 cent coins (a German thing) and we no longer have a 25 cent coin, again the Germans never had one either (so why should we). So many stores just round up at the register. As for switching currencies, whoop de do, those of us who live in a tri-border area have no problem. With debit cards it really wasn't a problem. Most people don't use cash anyhow. The Euro is a lame idea pushed by bullies and used to bail out poorer European countries.

peter   February 20th, 2010 8:46 am ET

The euro is new, looks like growing pains and learning curves.
The Dollar is way older and it is in trouble.
solution?- quit sending your jobs to China-have work so you will have money to grow your economy and pay some taxes.

Katrin   February 20th, 2010 9:25 am ET

The Euro itself was not a bad idea, but the way we got cheated in Germany was a bad idea. Since the Euro prices have doubled but the paychecks not.
The German governement gave the economy a gift! They were able to double prices and nobody did anything to stop them!
I truely feel cheated !

Michel   February 20th, 2010 10:15 am ET

The tree hiding the forest. Stop fussing around with Greece and the Euro. The biggest problem lies with the Pound and the Dollar. Have you noticed that the Pound value is decreasing w.r.t the Euro? Have you noticed that the Chinese have started getting rid of their Dollars? This is the sign that a certain world is collapsing and a new one is coming. Ask yourself where the US will be in 1 or 2 years time. Euro will no longer be your problem, survival of the Americans will be.

Vaggelis   February 20th, 2010 10:16 am ET

Europe need a Democratic elected Leadership, Franko-German axe and Anglosaxon group isn't Democracy, we need United States of Europe.

Euro itself means nothing. Europe should go on or give up.

Phil   February 20th, 2010 10:33 am ET

Worst thing to happen to Europe – doubled all the prices in the stores. All the Germans did was remove the DM price tag and put up the Euro tag. The Germans say no, that's not true, but ask the normal German shopper. Prices have gone sky high since the Euro came into being. And all those other stupid countries that fell into the trap are suffering, and it baffles me why other countries are still accepting this system. Thank God England was smart enough not to fall for it. Hurrah for England.

ex-patriot   February 20th, 2010 10:43 am ET

Look, blaming the US banks is useless. This whole thing boils down to the greed inherent in the monetary system that is spread world wide. Whether socialist, capitalist, communist of doesn't matter. Corporations are the new Governments, and with Central Banks privatized, don't expect it ti get any better. They just tried to fix the money problem by injecting more fiat money into the system? Anyone with any schooling on this subject knows without a shadow of a doubt, that it's only a matter of time until the whole thing goes BANG. You think the 30's were bad? We will see a total global economic collapse when the dollar fails, and it will happen sooner then you think.

Your almost as big an idiot as Quest   February 20th, 2010 11:16 am ET

Bring back Todd Benjamin, at least he know when he didnt know what he was talking about.

Harley Roy   February 20th, 2010 12:00 pm ET

For Carlos Arroyo, never a truer word spoken!!

peter   February 20th, 2010 12:03 pm ET

the euro was,is ,and always will be an absolute disaster for europe.
many german friends of mine want the d-mark back.the reason for this is because everything is so expensive now in germany,and the german taxpayer now subsidises the whole of europe.
however that is set to get worse as one by one the piigs fail,and the german government bails them out !
within 5 years the euro will cease to exist,trust me on this.
i thought the politicians in australia and america were corrupt and stupid,that was until i listened to the eu parliament on youtube.
my god !
do any of the stupid europeans realise that 27 commissars make almost all the rules on behalf of the 500 politicians ?
not one of these 27 people are elected to parliament !
baroness catherine ashton from the uk,youtube this.
this is the typical peanut now running europe .
what a disgusting mess europe has become.

Jetske from Holland   February 20th, 2010 12:12 pm ET

The euro was a bad idea. 1 euro became 1 gulden. For example: First you paid 1 gulden for an icecream, now you pay more than 1 euro for an icecream. But , 1 euro = 2.20 gulden! It wasn't a problem if the salaries were raised/adapted on the euro as well... but they didn't.. So everything would get dubbled.. I think the euro got a lot of dutch people in problems..

And why do we have the have 1 kind of coin for each country.. it's so fun the change money at the border!

Always British Never European   February 20th, 2010 6:25 pm ET

I'm delighted that Britain did not go into the Euro and probably never will. It would have been a disaster for the Britiish economy.

The EU is an out of date ideological project from the 1920's. The worlds second smallest continent is basically a protectionist trading bloc with a declining share of world trade and an expensive and unaffordable social model. Along with the fact that there is no European identity (a meaningless concept) and the inherent undemocractic and corruption, Britain really would be better off out of this failing institution.

Cut loose of the EU corpse.

Javier   February 20th, 2010 11:31 pm ET

Euro a bad idea. if Spain was not in th Euro, it could devalue its currency as a safety relief valve, become more competitive and get out of the recession.

Zander   February 21st, 2010 12:41 am ET

Do you really expect the Greeks, the Spaniards, the Irish, the Italians, and so toe the line to Germany's standards? Ha, ha, ha!! They will take the benefits of the EU but not follow the long can that party last?

Goyan   February 21st, 2010 1:45 pm ET

The Euro in itself was a good idea. A logical step in the long process of economic integration that started after WWII. But, Greece is a country flawed by corruption and bad politics. They faked their stats to get the Euro...
There's lies, dumb lies and then, there's statistics.

BOSSY Dave W. Dawson   February 22nd, 2010 1:07 am ET

That the Euro met resistance is one thing.
How the Euro is re-packaged to meet its' HONOURABLE GOALS is another thing.
Hitler wanted a pan-European currency to stabilise Europe & the West.
Bad old Adolf Hitler did not lack VISION as former Chancellor of one of the STRONGEST Industrial Kingdoms(under the Kaiser).
Being killed off for long-term goals is the usual scenario for Business Genius.
Who in Europe today shows the STRENGTH?
Or is the STRENGTH to emerge as the European Pheonix?
Because Europe is by no means dead is it?
Therefore, the STRENGTH of Europe is by no means dead & it will be led by the STRENGTH of INDUSTRY.
Industry is the ONLY sector from which INNOVATION can work.
QUEST COMPLETED YET ?????? ?????? ??????

Nadir   February 22nd, 2010 1:35 am ET

I guessed it's a bad idea coz it's based on not controlled Standards and measured before by the extent to which the size of each EU's state economically!

For instance "a vast difference between Greece and the UK" So, Britain has taken a wise policy and a dynamic vision of the her EU future.

Greeting to U, Quest!

Azeez Aishat   February 22nd, 2010 10:52 am ET

The euro is a bad idea. Islamically,lending money with interest is not good and this made Greece not to pay her debts because the money was too much.

Agebenu Emma   February 22nd, 2010 11:39 am ET

Euro isn't a badh concept but i hold that the implimentation of some of its key policies across board is faulty. The beauty of diversity is in the unity of strenght that recognizes and assimilate weaknesses. Chalenges are intergral part of live. Euro wil surmount her current debacle and prosper.

Clem   February 22nd, 2010 11:51 am ET

For the less developed economies, Euro was a bad idea....and for the more developed European countries, Euro was a good idea.

Ochieng   February 22nd, 2010 12:03 pm ET

The Euro would only be a bad idea if the EU was one. A single currency is an eventuality in any such organisation. Quest, as a Pounder, it would be safe to assume that your position is in the negative.

Steve Miller   February 22nd, 2010 12:44 pm ET


the Euro I think was not a bad idea, same wasn't the EU. Only thing about it was, folks in charge of the EU (members of the European parliament, I expose) seemingly didn't get the basics of what such a union meant to be. Prior to when they came up with it, I mean.

The result was being, there are European Union rules, laws and regulations, which require each nation to process in different ways instead of a unification in fields of same interests, while recognizing and and staying with local, regional, and national uniquenesses that might be relevant.

Hence, the increase in prices, which we where witnessing – since the event of the Euro – was not a question of the Euro solely, but of the European Union as a whole. Meanwhile I think, therefore there was no reset button for the EU, we need to get rid of it and need to follow that goal with all we can do about it. Best was by military means.

The EU, for many folks with low income, can be life threatening. It forbids the future for citizens living on European territory. It's that bad, unfortunately.

Politics do not seem to be willing to increase social benefits in way that would match up with the time being; so there was the other way round left, only.

Anyway, what had been our alternative? Being a nationalist wasting time from the begins?


Steve Miller   February 22nd, 2010 1:22 pm ET


the Euro I think was not a bad idea, same wasn't the EU. Only thing about it was, folks in charge of the EU (members of the European parliament, I expose) seemingly didn't get the basics of what such a union meant to be. Prior to when they came up with it, I mean.

The result was being, there are European Union rules, laws and regulations, which require each nation to process in different ways instead of a unification in fields of same interests, while recognizing and and staying with local, regional, and nationaluniqueness that might be relevant.

Hence, the increase in prices, which we where witnessing – since the event of the Euro – was not a question of the Euro solely, but of the European Union as a whole. Meanwhile I think, therefore there was no reset button for the EU, we need to get rid of it and need to follow that goal with all we can do about it. Best was by military means.

The EU, for many folks with low income, can be life threatening. It forbids the future for citizens living on European territory. It's that bad, unfortunately.

Politics do not seem to be willing to increase social benefits in way that would match up with the time being; so there was the other way round left, only.

Anyway, what had been our alternative? Being a nationalist wasting time from the begin?


Chris Davison   February 22nd, 2010 2:42 pm ET

Like the metric system and VAT, the Euro is a very bad idea originating in France.

One of the founding purposes of the EU is to prevent France and germany fighting; for this reason the EU should be broken up.

Mike Brown   February 23rd, 2010 12:42 pm ET

Richard, It is easy to bash to AMMI's for this but those banks in Europe from US companies are after all staffed by Greeks, Spannish or any other country involved. As far as the EURO currency there is no exit strategy, once your in thats it , no going back. That said the rules must be tight going in and inforcement even stronger.

Hutch   February 23rd, 2010 2:35 pm ET

It's an interesting question. I have lived in Italy before, during and after the transition from Lire to Euro and I watched the cost of living double as pricing was gouged to reflect twice the cost for items in Euros as it was in Lire. For example at the time of transition the Euro was aprox 6-7 cents lower in value then the dollar. The Lire was aprox 2,200 to the dollar so an item that cost 10,000 lire cost aprox $5.00 and should have cost approx 5 Euro. that item was priced at 10 Euro. This was rampant, was not overseen by the government, and from what I hear from other European countries it was happening in a similar way all over Europe. How is an economy such as Italy's supposed to survive that cost doubling let alone thrive from it? Italy is now an expensive place to vacation – far from an inexpensive destination from so many years before. When the cost of living doubled, the salaries stayed the same. Individual personal debt was unheard of prior to the transition – now both spouses are having to go to work to cover the bills, credit card debt is huge now, where as before it was nonexistent. What once was a people who lived a good quality of life with simple means is long gone. I believe that within the next 5-10 years there will be some type of significant event in response to this economic disaster. The pot is starting to boil and the frog is getting uncomfortable but it's not going to get cooked – very soon it will hop out of the pot.

Ellie   February 23rd, 2010 3:38 pm ET

The simplest definition of a monetary union, is the setting of fixed exchange rates, the maxi definition is a single currency. The problem from the get go is monetary matters rest in the supranational level of the union but governments are still responsible for their own deficit and even if there are rules they have never been met. Throughout Europeans history from the snake in the tunnel in the 70's to the Bundesbank strict economic convergence principles in the 80's, monetary integration has failed. The Euro which magically appearing on the eve of 2002 will fail because the phenomenon between deficit per state and a fixed interest rates across the union is yet to fully be understood and will follow the trend that rest in all historical economic crisis, crisis!

nicholas   February 24th, 2010 11:51 am ET

The Euro was a good idea. The follow-up was a mess. One cyrrency with fifteen diefferent budgets, taxation, social security benefits, and productivity rates creates a chaos rather than a unified economic profile. The European :Union must go forward with a more coherent plan for the future. The economic imbalances due to the shift of production to China and India are shaking up all previous economic planning. North America and Europe must come up with new and innovative thinking for their economies, otherwise their economic future is bleak.

Jack Quann - Dublin, Ireland   February 24th, 2010 9:06 pm ET

Of course the €uro was a good idea, especially for smaller economies – like Ireland. The only issue we have to be cautious about now is how much/how many countries the EU will bail out. If they help Greece, will they help Ireland, Germany, Spain? By all means provide assistance – but know where to draw the line.

gab   February 25th, 2010 6:43 am ET

Long live the Euro, only real economic barrier to a senseless Anglo Economic Superpower!

Rob   February 25th, 2010 9:17 am ET

I have lived in Germany since before the switch from DM to EURO happened. They did just switched the currency symbols and did not bother to reprice the goods. I remember having American soldiers come here without a car, in order to take home a BMW or Mercedes, that change after the EURO was adopted, it was more American brining in their Mustangs and pickup trucks and selling it for double the price to the Germans. The middle class was instantly sank really fast as a result of the currency change. All the while we see prices going up, taxes as well, and what used to cost 5DM now cost 5€, but if your salary was 2,000DM now you are only making 800€. How could this possibly be good?

Dave   February 25th, 2010 11:33 am ET

I'm from a country where a referendum was held: Ireland. I voted yes. I don't think that ireland's problems were caused by the Euro, which delivered low interest rates, and a currency that didn't collapse like Iceland's when the banking crisis hit.
Our problems were caused by: bad property zoning, dependence on taxation receipts from property transactions, poor regulation of banks, a public sector wage and pension policy that was too generous. The Euro has helped to reduce the impact of the debt crisis. Our foreign private and public debt would have ballooned if our currency had collapsed too.

Brad   February 25th, 2010 12:10 pm ET

the problem with Euro is that many countrys admitted in Euro zone did not have the finacial systems as the original 13 countrys. Adding more countrys with weak financial system, will bring more trouble for the EU and the Euro.
One has to understand each country is different as each Human. To bring them under one single Idea, it will be very difficult and bring many satbacks.
Hope and patiance will be needed.

Zlata   February 25th, 2010 2:44 pm ET

I think, the euro was a good idea. I'm not economist and I'm jobless now. But I think, it wouldn't have been better without euro.

dasparadoxon   February 25th, 2010 7:20 pm ET

As a German and a Thinking Person, I think the Euro was a good way to strengthen the European Areas and to make many things simpler on a lot of levels.
Ive read the comments above, and I do not know so much about economics, so I rather think of the Euro as a signifcant sign of possible peace and community efforts that hopefully bring more peace and stability.

Right now, thanks to people who use money as betting instrument and the process of "dont think something to the end" and the endless greed of the capitalist engine, not to forget the drama that some people use wealth to feel themselve soooo much better than everyone else, this possibility seem to vanish.

Sad story, people. How do we explain this to our childs, when Chaos and Greed demolishes societies and nature ?

But then again, I am kinda of an optimist.

Carol   February 25th, 2010 8:23 pm ET

Italians have the lowest birth-rate in the world but some of the healthiest and longest-lived senior citizens. Many of those people went to work in Switzerland and now receive pensions in Swiss Francs but they are losing every month after the Euro exchange rate which prevents them from putting money into the Italian economy. Bring back the Lira.

Pat   February 26th, 2010 10:25 am ET

The euro is great. If some prices in some countries jumped when it was introduced, it's not the euro's fault, but the fault of greedy people. Had store managers & company mangers been honest, they would have simply converted their prices from their old currency to the euro. But some greedy & selfish people saw a great opportunity to make some easy money. That's the root of all evil : greed. So stop blaming the euro for all your ills. Blame the manager of the store where you buy your stuff.

From Latvia   February 26th, 2010 11:38 am ET

EURO problem is USD.

You see, EUR has a gold value where USD has a freash air from FED window, and so Europ when ever Europ need USD to by oil, gas, etc which is set to be bought in USD, Europeans has to exchange their Euros (which has value) to freash air USD.
Now, if such nonseans continues in years and years, abviosly it will crash – because you cant live that way.


Nick   February 27th, 2010 8:54 pm ET

Terrible idea- a few plutocrats behind the scenes secretly put Greeks on the Euro without a referendum and now the government cant devalue its currency and has to slash pensions to one seventh of what they were- among other horrors- instead. Regardless of whether or not Greece was mostly responsible for running up a deficit, it is helpless. Changing the Greek flag to a smiley or sad face and keeping the old currency would have maintained national independence. Now Greece is effectively run by anonymous foreign bankers- who lend at high interest, which only worstens debt. Get out of the Eurozone- yes kick Greece out- let Greece out. Nothing good has come from it, despite Bank owned media accusing Greece of supposedly living the high life starting with the Euro 10 years ago and ending now. Inflation happened immediately. Trade agreements such as not imposing tariffs on Euromember imports were just fine. A new, foreign Banker monopolized currency only benefits... anonymous foreign Bankers...

Greensboro Press Release Service   March 5th, 2010 1:36 am ET

I do not agree with U. Euro is a good solution fro the world .talians have the lowest birth-rate in the world but some of the healthiest and longest-lived senior citizens.

Greensboro Press Release Service   March 5th, 2010 8:48 am ET

not just good but great business idea! I like them and will try for my business . Hope for excellent results !

Steave Thomason   March 8th, 2010 11:58 pm ET

Pretty interesting blog you've got here. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to them. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.

Best wishes

Finley Mitchell   July 9th, 2010 1:12 pm ET

Nowadays, you must be super creative to have a good business idea that works.-..

Mariah Barnes   July 12th, 2010 4:24 pm ET

it is easy to get Business ideas, just look for a product or service that has demand and fill it,.,

Eleanor Simpson   October 7th, 2010 7:36 pm ET

i ran out of business ideas, but i mostly invest on stuffs related to food and real estate~'-

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