This was the main reason to why one should have waited a long time with setting up the EMU. The economies are so different that it was doomed from the start. One option would have been to let some economies that was in phase with each other and very similar in culture to join up in more local groups to start with and then maybe 50-100 years later make the last step and merge these local groups up into one big. In my opinion the EMU is good for no one at the moment and the small benefit of one currency does not in any way outweight the benefits for the economies to adapt more quickly. The countries that stayed out did right not listening to big business and special interest groups. Their only goal is to black mail every country into doing what they want. Just look at how much business was lost to countries like Ireland and Spain when they undercut other countries taxes. Makes me ill when I think about it since it was the well behaved countries that financed their infrastructure changes that made it possible for them to have artificially low taxes. This is not a rant towards those countries but rather to the rest that accepted getting their asses handed to them.
Well Ireland is certainly paying the price for it now and you are correct in what you say – only for joining the EU we wouldn’t have the infrastructure we have with the roads etc. Certainly the last thing needed here is interest rate increases it will lead to more and more mortgage defaults – the private sector here in Ireland has taken major wage cuts, – hopefully this will make us more competitive but also austerity measures introduced, higher mortgage rates. The higher paid public servants here are way over paid, Doctors still charge exhorbitant fees as do consultants – the Chief Executive of the ESB (electricity board) was being paid E750,000 per annum until he retired just recently – they can get away with this because it is still a government agency.