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Cómo entramos en el euro

Por John Hooper: I recall the process well because, in the mid-1990s, I was the Guardian’s Southern Europe correspondent. Shortly after the then Italian prime minister, Romano Prodi, came into office, he paid a call on his Spanish counterpart, José María Aznar. Prodi assumed (perhaps wisely in retrospect) that Italy and the other southern European member states would need more time to adjust to the strictures of single currency membership and would, therefore, go into a ‘B’ group of later entrants. So he was shocked to find that Aznar fully intended Spain should be in the euro from the start. The reason was that Aznar had found to HIS horror that Portugal was planning to be in the first group and would have relatively little difficulty meeting the Maastricht criteria for entry. At the time, Portugal had only a minimal welfare state, so its government could squeeze its budget deficit with comparative ease. The whole thing became a national virility test. Spain could not be out if kid brother Portugal was in. A...
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