The Euro: "Like a bicycle, if it doesn't move forward it will fall"
If the Euro fails then Europe fails panel concludes
Demos Finance, a new financial services think tank, in partnership with Cass Business School and the Financial Times brought together leading academics, policy makers and practitioners to deliver a series of lectures outlining the history and future of the economic downturn and the outlook of the Euro.
Gus O'Donnell, former Cabinet Secretary, who chaired one of the panel discussions, argued that having a single currency forces integration. He explained it brings together deep economic integration, democracy and a nation state. However, only two out of the three elements can exist at the same time.
Sony Kapoor, Managing Director Re-Define, suggested that there will not be a single government response to saving the Euro as each government has its own opinion, saying "if the EU doesn't move forward it is dead."
He further suggested that that the situation has now changed from a "monetary crisis into a fiscal crisis", where the "political space is shrinking and the economic problem is growing."
The panel also included Vicky Pryce, Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting, and David Green, Risk Adviser at the Central Bank of Ireland, who agreed that debts within the Eurozone have to be brought down. Vicky Pryce said it was unfair that, out of the £130 billion bailout fund, only £6 billion is going to Greece.
Summing up his thoughts on Greece Gus O'Donnell concluded: "Like a bicycle, if it doesn't move forward the Euro will fall…if the Euro fails then Europe fails".