21 Mar 2011

Can the eurozone countries still live together happily ever after?

Marcello Messori

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After the Greek public debt crisis and the bilateral loans to Greece from the other members of the European Monetary Union (EMU), in May 2010 the Ecofin Council launched the European Financial Stabilization Mechanism (EFSM). In June of the same year the EMU countries instituted the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). These two mechanisms, which are charged with providing support to EMU countries in “exceptional difficulty”, received their baptism of fire with Ireland in January 2011 and successfully made their first bond issue on the market.
Marcello Messori of the University of Rome argues in this CEPS Policy Brief that the solution to Europe’s sovereign debt problems cannot be entrusted to the two stability funds, not even in tandem with the International Monetary Fund. He constructs a new solution, drawing on various other proposals, which should allow the EMU countries to ‘live together happily ever after’, but unlike many fairy tales and some policy proposals, it makes no promises of a free lunch.