End of the eurozone?

The voters of Europe have spoken: They are not prepared to endure austerity measures to achieve financial responsibility and stability.

This has set the stage for breakup of the eurozone. The only way to finance the stimulus that French President-elect Francois Hollande is proposing is to increase taxes or borrow. Neither option is practical. His proposal to raise taxes to 75 percent on the wealthy will create a mass exodus of high-earning Frenchmen to lower-tax jurisdictions outside of France. It is highly unlikely that the credit markets will lend the French government enough money to stimulate its economy at economic rates.

ADVERTISEMENT
The situation in Greece is likewise untenable. Voters have rejected the centrist in favor of the extremist party. It was the former that agreed to the austerity measures. These austerity measures were sine qua non of Greece's bailout. Their creditors and the EU will not be happy about this rejection .

It now appears that Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany is all by herself in Europe. Germany will continue to promote fiscal responsibility, but it is unlikely the German voters will agree to bail out their profligate neighbors. If this is the reality, it is hard to understand how the eurozone can survive.