A United States of Europe? Good Luck

Europe's leaders may be ready for a stronger union. The public isn't.

Power to the people?

Photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

Otmar Issing, one of the original draftsmen of European Monetary Union and the first chief economist of the European Central Bank, is worried that the current guardians of the project are trying to push it too far, too fast. He's right; and if the panjandrums aren't careful, they risk trying to build a United States of Europe without the backing of the 338 million people who share the euro as their currency, never mind the other 162 million who are merely members of the European Union.

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