Friday, 23 January 2009

Ireland and the euro

An excellent piece here on what membership of the euro has done to Irealnd. And would have done to us if we had been stupid enough to enter it:

Yes, Britain is losing 2,500 jobs a day and home repossessions have nearly doubled in a year. And indeed British banks are on death-watch, the economy is likely to shrink by almost three percent this year, and the high streets are desolate. Savers are being robbed of interest, and industry is in despair.

Still, I can offer you one light in the darkness. Just look across to Ireland and see how much worse things would be now if Britain had joined the euro.

What we have in Ireland is Exhibit A in the case against the United Kingdom ever surrendering sterling to Europe.

Ireland has been in the euro since it was launched ten years ago. During those ten years, the euro and its European Central Bank turned a healthy, growing Irish economy of the 1990s into a fake-boom economy of property bubbles, consumer debt and reckless bankers.

Now it has all crashed. The Irish are facing perhaps a decade of stagnation and high tax.

In 1997, Ireland was lauded on the front cover of the Economist as 'Europe's shining light.' After ten years in the euro - with no control over its interest rates, and no influence over its exchange rates - Ireland now has the second worse economy in the EU, second only to Latvia.

Thank goodness we didn't join, eh? And let's make sure we don't make that mistake in the future, either, shall we?

1 comment:

Obnoxio The Clown said...

There is one set of circumstances under which I would recommend we join the Euro.

If the UK gets to set the interest rates forever after. >:o)