Can Greece take a quick holiday from the Euro?
If the Euro is causing Greece all these problems, can't the country just leave the Euro? And if that's too drastic, then, as Martin Feldstein suggests, can't it just take a little break from the Euro? Well, no. Barry Eichengreen explains:
The insurmountable obstacle to exit [is] procedural. Reintroducing the national currency would require essentially all contracts -- including those governing wages, bank deposits, bonds, mortgages, taxes, and most everything else -- to be redenominated in the domestic currency. The legislature could pass a law requiring banks, firms, households and governments to redenominate their contracts in this manner. But in a democracy this decision would have to be preceded by very extensive discussion.
And for it to be executed smoothly, it would have to be accompanied by detailed planning. Computers will have to be reprogrammed. Vending machines will have to be modified. Payment machines will have to be serviced to prevent motorists from being trapped in subterranean parking garages. Notes and coins will have to be positioned around the country. One need only recall the extensive planning that preceded the introduction of the physical euro.
That actually sounds like the insurmountable obstacle is technical, rather than procedural, but either way, the bottom line is still that it's unworkable.
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