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Europe and the Maastricht challenge
The uncertainty caused by the exchange rate crises of 1992-93 led to two questions: Is monetary union still feasible? What strategies are best for achieving convergence according to the Maastricht criteria? This article addresses these questions by examining the progress made by the five major European Union countries in satisfying the Maastricht criteria and the two crucial impediments facing these countries--disparities in real exchange rate convergence and fiscal imbalances--and alternative strategies to deal with these impediments. Overall, our analysis suggests that the prospects for ...
The transition to E.M.U.: structural and strategic aspects
The recurrent crises in the EMS have bolstered a lively debate about the transition to EMU. Indeed the political economy of regional integration is at odds with the theory of optimum currency areas. Essentially static and based on real criteria alone, the latter is not suited to deal with a process which has historical roots, political ends, real and nominal dimensions. The relevant concept is convergence. ; Part I first discusses the interplay of nominal and real convergence, then examines the structural and behavioural asymmetries between European countries. It shows why convergence is not ...
Fiscal consolidation in Europe
The Maastricht Treaty imposes constraints on fiscal policy that will last beyond the formation of EMU. However, the fiscal requirements are determined in an ad hoc way, and do not consider the position of the countries in the business cycle, nor the medium-term planning horizons of the governments. In this paper, we revisit the concept of "sustainability" of deficits announced in the treaty. After discussing the cyclical and the structural aspects of total deficits that occurred until 1994, we use an intertemporal, forward-looking approach to evaluate the fiscal stands of the countries ...