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Europe's chances of economic recovery lie in unity, not isolation (2)

(Global Times)

08:23, July 17, 2012

This is not altogether wrong but is overly simplified. Even if France does turn the tide in its own economy, the intricately woven eurozone places it at too much risk if even a small country falls into crisis.

The circumstances which allowed Greece to have such a massive impact on the economic safety of the eurozone remain true. The single currency is not strong enough to withstand any member state going under.

When Europe first bailed out Greece in all-for-one fashion, this was seen as emblematic of the bloc's raison d'etre. Four years on, cracks are appearing in this model. Bailouts of Ireland, Portugal and Italy seem to have merely delayed the inevitable and Cyprus, understandably unconvinced, has turned to Russia.

Discussions among finance ministers often descent into petty squabbling, reviving old rivalries that should have been left behind long ago. Yet the theory behind the bailouts remains true. European countries are too small to face this crisis alone, both politically and economically.

Critics say this shows the illusion of declaring one model superior to another, as happened when the euro was first introduced. I remain a fervent supporter of the EU and the euro but their institutions need to be reformed. If countries truly wish to stick to the principles of the EU, their economic policies must be centralized to a large extent.

The world is facing a myriad of economic problems, specific to different regions and countries, but the EU can still show the right direction in banding together to find common solutions.

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