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Will Europe Work? Paperback – 5 Apr 1999

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About the Author

David Smith is Economics Editor of The Sunday Times. He has a number of other books under his belt and is regularly on the radio and television, commentating on economics.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars The EU doesn't work! 4 Aug. 2001
By William Podmore - Published on
Format: Paperback
In this well-researched book, David Smith investigates work and its prospects across the European Union. He notes that the EU is marked by high rates of unemployment and low rates of employment. If it had the same employment rate as the USA, there would be an extra 34 million people in work. In France in 1997, the employment rate for men between 15 and 24 was only 16.5%. For men between 55 and 64, the employment rate in Britain was 59%, yet it was more than 65% in the USA.
Smith argues that entering the euro would cause even more unemployment, because Economic and Monetary Union is designed to create more mergers with their inevitable job losses. Also, to manage the economic differences with other countries, the Government would have to make changes in the real economy by sacking people and cutting wages, because it could no longer manage these differences by altering the exchange rate.
So entering the euro would not achieve full employment. But some now argue that this can never be done under any circumstances, so we might as well join the euro anyway. However, we can achieve full employment, by investing in industry. And we can do it without the extra taxes or loans that Smith asserts would be needed.
We can raise the money in a variety of ways. We could redirect the £35 billion that British companies invest abroad every year. We could demand that Britain adopts a more realistic foreign policy and defence posture: cutting the Foreign Office�s bloated costs, ending overseas military aid, and withdrawing troops from Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo and Sierra Leone would save us billions by. We could use all this money to modernise plant and machinery, set up new industries and firms, and rebuild our transport and energy systems
Every country in the EU could carry out a similar kind of investment programme. And if this programme conflicts with the EU�s rules, too bad! If we need to take democratic control over our own economies to achieve full employment, then that is what we will have to do.
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