Letter to the editor: Sir, The received wisdom that the euro zone remains an unreformed economy doomed to high unemployment and low growth rates fails to satisfy on two counts. Firstly, it makes the mistake of treating all euro zone countries as homogeneous examples of the European “social model”, ignoring the wide diversity of actual practice.
Nor does it recognise the important change of tone in European economic policymaking since the Lisbon economic summit last spring. European governments now recognise that for the euro to become a long-term success, the liberalisation programme begun with the creation of the Single Market must be completed. There remains much work to be done and, in particular, some doubts must remain about the pace at which reform can be achieved in acutely sensitive areas such as pensions. However, with European growth set to outstrip that of the US for the first time in nearly a decade, surely the euro zone countries deserve the benefit of the doubt?
Centre for European Reform, London
©OECD Observer No 221/222, Summer 2000