International -- Readers Report
The Monetary Union Is Doing Just Fine--Considering (int'l edition)
Yes, the European Union may be stumbling a bit on its way toward European Monetary Union (EMU), but it's minor, in light of the immensity of the task ("Who's in charge of Europe's money?" European Edition Cover Story, Mar. 27). Most of the problems you mention (including old-line tax-and-spend Socialist politicians) were recognized at least as early as 1997.
Certainly, the EMU would have benefited from British participation at the start. However, it would be a mistake for America to put too much faith in Britain, which has maintained the strong pound in part by offering a tax haven to Continental investors while obstructing reform of European investment taxes. Major European industry is moving to the euro and requiring suppliers to follow suit just as fast as they can. Britain's apparent strength may come at the expense of its industry, as evidenced by Ford "rethinking" its Dagenham operations and BMW's bailout of Rover.
Edward B. Robertson