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EMU: a future that works?

In December Europe's national leaders meet in Madrid to prepare for the 1996 inter-governmental conference. Monetary union will be high on their agenda. As differences widen over the likelihood, timing and desirability of a single currency, Charles Goodhart provides a progress report

By Charles Goodhart   December 1995

Europe’s progress towards monetary union is turning into an epic voyage. Ever since the course was charted in the Maastricht treaty in 1992, winds threatening to blow the whole project off course have been rising. First the markets ejected sterling and the Italian lira from the exchange rate mechanism (ERM); more recently the French franc has looked perilously vulnerable. In the meantime it has become abundantly clear-so clear that it has even been admitted by some national politicians-that certain member states (such as Italy) will fail to meet the convergence criteria laid down in the treaty. In addition to this,…

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