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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/3/15

Fears of a Grexit Ignore True EU Situation

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Though I've been paying close attention to all the various news channels I watch - French, British, Russian and American - I haven't heard anyone mention the fact that there are nine countries who are members of the European Union but who, for one reason or another, do not use the Euro.[tag]

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These countries are Great Britain, Denmark, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia and Sweden, a collection of big and small hitters. Why do none of the anchors or guests opining on the matter ever mention the fact that there already exists a "two-speed Europe"? Probably because the existence of almost as many European countries outside the Euro as in it, increases the consequences of other countries following Greece if it exits.

Today one commentator suggested that Greece could have two currencies: the Euro for tourism and shipping, and a version of the drachma for internal use. Only a person aware of the local currency movement that has been going on for several decades in cities and towns, would suggest such a thing, however Cuba has had two currencies, the peso and the convertible peso, since 1994. After the Greek referendum on Sunday, maybe someone will raise this possibility. In any case, it's hardly likely that the nine non-Euro countries will be in a rush to join.

I know precious little about economics, but I knew when the European Union was being debated that it should have been a federation, with a government as well as a currency. The lack of a political union has allowed neo-liberal globalization to throw the welfare state into disarray, as massive immigration makes supportive government more than ever indispensable, and neo-fascist parties step into the breach.

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Born in Phila, I spent most of my adolescent and adult years in Europe, resulting over time in several unique books, my latest being Russia's Americans.

CUBA: Diary of a Revolution, Inside the Cuban Revolution with Fidel, Raul, Che, and Celia Sanchez

Lunch with Fellini, Dinner with Fidel: An Illustrated Personal Journey from the Cold War to the Arab Spring


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