After two decades of relentless critique and predictions of doom, the single currency has already outlived many of its harshest critics’ predictions when it was born in 1999.
But for all its well-documented flaws and all the blistering criticism of European monetary union, the euro has emerged after two decades with three notable achievements. First, opinion polls show it garnering higher public support than at any point in those two decades. Second, governments in the bloc’s most indebted countries have saved trillions of euros due to the lowering borrowing costs it offered. And third, the European Central Bank has proven far more flexible and innovative in the face of periodic crises than even its strongest advocates thought possible when it was designed in the late 1990s.
Remarkably, despite the deep economic and social pain inflicted on them by the harsh terms of the rescue loans, 60 percent of Greeks say the euro is good for Greece, and 71 percent say it is good for Europe.