We need to have the courage to tell the truth: today we don’t have a true “Economic and Monetary Union”, but rather a small-scale economic union. National and local governments still have too much decision-making power; too many special interests exert influence. And there can be no monetary union until we also have a banking union and as long as money in circulation continues to represent only 10% of the money supply. According to this clear-headed, sharp, and controversial economist, over the last fifteen years we have only had a “very incomplete union”, lacking an authentic will to achieve a shared destiny: any union entails the desire to bring about a common good, that is, engage in doing for others and not only doing with others. This is why it is important to emphasize solidarity and co-operation, the European values we were promised and without which 25 years of dreams may simply vanish.
Giacomo Vaciago teaches Monetary Economics at the Sacred Heart Catholic University in Milan, has written many essays about economic and monetary policy, and is a columnist for the financial daily “Il Sole-24 Ore”.