Macron's proposals are no panacea for eurozone

Press quote (The Wall Street Journal)
Simon Tilford
17 May 2017

The biggest problem with the euro is that it hasn’t delivered the economic convergence voters expected when it was launched; in fact, it has led to divergence. In 1999, living standards in Germany, France and Italy measured by gross domestic product per capita were broadly the same. Today Germany is significantly richer than France, while Italy has seen its GDP per capita slump from 119% of the EU average in 1999 to below 90% today. Spain’s gap in living standards behind Germany has remained almost unchanged since 1999, but Portugal and above all Greece have seen their relative positions decline, Simon Tilford of the Centre for European Reform noted in a recent report.