chapter  1
25 Pages

Why stable money matters or ‘the loss of paradise’

Europe has a new currency, the euro. It has been the fruit of a long evolution of European monetary co-operation. But despite this apparently irresistible historic process, many observers have been puzzled: was it inevitable or merely an arbitrary political decision without economic foundation? Was there no alternative to old nations of Europe giving up the symbol of national sovereignty? In Europe, changes in monetary arrangements have usually reflected the chaotic ups and downs of its history. This is nowhere more obvious than in Austria which, by the end of the twentieth century has had its sixth currency in less than 100 years. Thus, even such a fundamental institution as money can be short-lived and volatile. Will the adventure of European Monetary Union (EMU) succeed-or will it disappear as many other regimes in the past? Of course, impermanence is the essence of the world. Even though nothing lasts forever, some things last longer than others. How long will the euro last?