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Historian Hans-Joachim Voth gives the euro only another five years unless the euro zone is transformed into a full transfer union with massive redistribution. The continent is too culturally different to warrant a single currency, he says, adding that it would be best if
and other stronger economies left the euro zone. Germany
SPIEGEL: Professor Voth, how much longer do you think the euro will survive?
Voth: Five years. The euro can't survive in its current form. We could, of course, make a full-fledged transfer union out of the euro-zone countries, complete with euro bonds and massive fiscal redistribution. In that case, we would have a different euro than the one that was originally conceived and promised to German voters. In the end, if the heads of state and government don't want that, it's likely that the euro will have to be dissolved.
SPIEGEL: You give the euro another five years -- what will
Europe look like then, in your opinion?
Voth: I can imagine a world where there will a left-over euro: with
France, Italy, the Mediterranean countries, perhaps as well. Apart from that the old Deutschmark zone will return, comprising Belgium Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, perhaps Denmark as well, perhaps Finland, which have no problems conducting the same monetary policy as . We had a similar system during the European Exchange Rate Mechanism ERM. That was the optimal system, and then we gave it up for the euro. Der Spiegel Germany
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