Torsten Bell tells us of some new research:
EU inequality has declined post-financial crisis, but in the euro area inequality has been slightly increasing.
What’s going on? Fast-growing eastern Europe, largely in the EU but not the eurozone, has narrowed the gap with older and richer EU members. But incomes among southern eurozone members such as Greece and Italy have stagnated, falling further behind Germany. The main takeaway? Don’t take economic catch-up by poorer countries of their richer neighbours for granted.
No, that’s not the lesson to take. Rather, if poor folks not in the euro are growing faster than rich folks, and poor folks inside the euro are not, then our conclusion must be that the euro is bad for poor folks.
Or, as everyone but the most committed federast has been pointing out for 30 years now, the euro is a really shitty idea.