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UPDATED: June 25, 2010 NO. 26 JULY 1, 2010
The Challenge to EU Integration
The Greek debt crisis threatens the stability and future of the euro zone

Euro vs. dollar

According to the Commitments of Traders report from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the short positions of the euro and the British pound have been increasing sharply since December 2009. That is to say, short selling euros and Britain's currency has become a profitable business for U.S. financial institutions. These speculation activities reveal not only the extremely profit-driven nature of U.S. financial institutions but also the contention between the U.S. dollar and the euro in grabbing fresh international capital. Amid the financial crisis, those who can gain more fresh capital are more likely to survive. If the debt default crisis breaks out in the euro zone, would international investors continue to invest in the euro? What will they invest in then? The answer is self-evident.

Surprisingly, a certain degree of euro depreciation would be beneficial to the euro zone's recovery and exports. Does it mean some people want to see the euro depreciate? Some experts even think that an exchange rate of 1 euro to $1 is ideal to the euro zone.

The financial war targeting the euro and Greece hasn't ended. But more and more things can't be understood. The market and the public couldn't understand the various debt restructuring methods disguised by the opaque financial markets and the so-called ''financial innovations." The most surprising thing is that Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street tycoons with similar investments in EU sovereign countries could take such actions within their current laws. Actually, Goldman Sachs' activities in Greece are legally guzzling Greek public wealth. Now people are worrying that Portugal is facing the same situation. If this is true, it's certain that attacks from Wall Street will continue and possibly increase.

Leaders in EU member countries are now worrying about how to salvage a member country while leaving no room for other countries to follow suit. In fact, the euro-zone debt crisis is the crisis of EU integration—whether EU member countries can sacrifice some of their own interests for the common goal of the EU. Some French politicians considered the crisis an opportunity for the EU to further strengthen its unity. The euro-zone countries should take the chance to form some "unified" economic administration to fight against the fiscal crisis. But Germany worries that it will have to shoulder more responsibilities than it should, so it proposed to set up a European monetary fund to deal with future possible crises. Only when EU leaders figure out how to tackle the crisis, which is crucial to the existence of the EU, can they think of more effective ways to sustain EU integration in the future.

The author is deputy director of the Institute of World Development under the Development Research Center of China's State Council

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