The crisis in the Eurozone has been the greatest failure in the history of European integration. Trillions of dollars in accumulated debts have confronted the member states with a difficult set of inter-state and domestic problems, largely to do with the distribution of the burden of economic adjustment in the light of a decade of ill-advised lending and borrowing. To the discredit of both national governments and European institutions, conflict has dragged on for years – and still continues – with no real resolution. Possible Pareto improvements have fallen by the wayside as countries maneuver to shunt as much of the adjustment burden as possible onto their partners, and as groups within countries do the same domestically.
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