Christakis Georgiou


There are two levels to the Eurozone crisis. At a more fundamental level, it is a crisis of capitalism spawned by a secular decline in profitability that has given rise to growing indebtedness in the advanced capitalist countries. But the shape that this crisis takes is determined by the European Union’s political configuration, more precisely by the institutional imbalance between a  centralised monetary policy and decentralised fiscal policies. This article traces the cause of this imbalance, through a brief examination of the political history of Europe’s monetary union, to the strategic ambivalence of France’s European policy. It concludes by arguing that the current crisis has created political conditions that should push French elites to reconsider their hostility to a more centralised fiscal policy framework for the Eurozone.



political economy, monetary history, European integration

Amann, M., Müller, P., Pfister, R. and Schult, C. (2013) ‘Chancellor Merkel Cools on European Integration’, Spiegel Online, 25 June 2013.

Atkins, R. (2013) ‘Eurozone Stocks Shed Country Risk Burden’, Financial Times, 9 September 2013.

Atkins, R., Ross, A. and Stothard, M. (2013) ‘Euro Periphery Draws Back €100bn’, Financial Times, 28 January 2013.

Balleix-Banerjee, C. (1999) La France et la Banque Centrale Européenne [France and the European Central Bank]. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

Bergsten, C.F. and Kirkegaard, J. (2012) ‘The Coming Resolution of the European Crisis’, Peterson Institute for International Economics policy brief (January) 12-1.

Bibow, J. (2013) ‘On the Franco-German Euro Contradiction and Ultimate Euro Battleground’, Levy Economics Institute of Bard College working paper no. 762.

Brenner, R. (2009) ‘What is Good for Goldman Sachs is Good for America. The Origins of the Current Crisis’, Center for Social Theory and Comparative History, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

CDU/CSU (1994) ‘Überlegungen zur Europäischen Politik’ [Reflections on European Policy], available at: [http://www.cducsu.de/upload/schaeublelamers94.PDF], accessed on 12 March 2014.

Connolly, B. (1995) The Rotten Heart of Europe. London: Faber and Faber.

Council-Commission of the European Communities (1970) Report to the Council and the Commission on the Realisation by Stages of ECONOMIC AND MONETARY UNION in the Community ‘Werner Report’, Supplement to Bulletin II – 1970 of the European Communities.

Dokumente/Documents (2000) Iss. No. 3, available at: [http://www.dokumentedocuments.info/ausgabe/mtyp/revue_documents/detail/documents-52000-2.html?cHash=7fc8bbf0e8aa2989e722b2aa7412bbdd], accessed on 9 May 2014.

Eichengreen, B. (2008) Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Frank, R. (1995) ‘Pompidou, le Franc et l’Europe, 1969–1974’, in Association Georges Pompidou Georges Pompidou et l’Europe [Pompidou, the Franc and Europe, 1969–1974’, Georges Pompidou and Europe]. Bruxelles: Editions Complexe.

Gillingham, J. (2003) European Integration 1950–2003. Superstate or New Market Economy? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hall, B. (2010) ‘Lagarde Criticises Berlin Policy’, Financial Times, 14 March 2010.

Howarth, D. (2001) The French Road to European Monetary Union. London: Palgrave.

Howarth, D. (2007) ‘Making and Breaking the Rules: French Policy on EU “Gouvernement Economique”’, Journal of European Public Policy, Vol. 14, No. 7, pp. 1061–1078.

James, H. (2012) Making the European Monetary Union. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Jonung, L. and Drea, E. (2009) ‘The Euro: It Can’t Happen. It’s a Bad Idea. It Won’t Last. US Economists on the EMU, 1989–2002’, European Economy economic papers 395.

Kliman, A. (2011) The Failure of Capitalist Production. London: Pluto Press.

Lapavitsas, C., Kaltenbrunner, A., Lambrinidis, G., Lindo, D., Meadway, J., Michell, J., Painceira, J.P., Pires, E., Powell, J., Stenfors, A. and Teles, N. (2010) ‘Eurozone Crisis: Beggar Thyself and Thy Neighbour’, Research on Money and Finance (March) occasional report.

Lemaître, F. (2013) ‘François Fillon, Désormais Européen Convaincu’ [François Fillon, Henceforth a Convinced European], Le Monde, 26 April 2013.

Le Monde (2000) ‘L’Europe Unie Selon Joschka Fischer’ [United Europe According to Joschka Fischer], 15 June 2000, p. 12.

Leparmentier, A. (2013) Ces Français Fossoyeurs de l’Euro [The French, Grave Diggers of the Euro]. Paris: Plon.

Marsh, D. (1993) The Bank that Rules Europe. London: Mandarin.

Marsh, D. (2011) The Euro: The Battle for the New Global Currency. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Monnet, J. (1976) Mémoires [Memoirs]. Paris: Fayard.

Moravcsik, A. (1998) The Choice for Europe: Social Purpose and State Power from Messina to Maastricht. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Parsons, C. (2003) A Certain Idea of Europe. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Peel, Q. (2010) ‘Schäuble Interview: Berlin’s Strictures’, Financial Times, 19 May 2010.

Peel, Q. (2011) ‘Merkel Urges Stronger Union to Back Euro’, Financial Times, 14 November 2011.

Peyrefitte, A. (1997) C’était De Gaulle: Tome 2 La France Reprend sa Place dans le Monde [This was De Gaulle: Volume 2 France’s Place in the World Restored]. Paris: Editions Fallois/Fayard.

Ricard, P. (2013) ‘Quand Moscovici Tente de Faire Vivre l’Idée d’un Budget de la Zone Euro’ [Moscovici Attempts to Rally Support in Favour of a Eurozone Budget], Le Monde, 24 October 2013.

Roberts, M. (2013) ‘Workers, Punks and the Euro Crisis’, post on Michael Roberts Blog, 16 March 2013, available at: [http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/workers-punks-and-the-euro-crisis/], accessed on 12 March 2014.

Wolf, M. (2012) ‘The Place of Britain in a future Europe’, lecture on 5 October 2012. Available at: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPTK3Nk5cLQ], accessed 9 May 2014.