Asmussen recognises that the euro area is not an advertisement for stability

(Source: Reuters) The European Central Bank's Jörg Asmussen, speaking at a meeting in Brussels:

I recognise that, at present, the euro area is not an excellent advertisement for stability given the difficulties facing a number of its members.

I also think it is important not to read too much into the current situation.

The current situation isn't all that recent, nor all that much of a blip in the euro's history. The currency project only began in 1999, and in its short past has widely been considered an alarming failure. Many countries have suffered in the absence of a freely floating exchange rate. Greece has struggled, while Germany has benefitted.

Asmussen neglects the real issue here. Either the Eurozone will have to accept more centralisation, in an attempt to harmonise very different economies, or let go of the experiment and allow countries to return to using their own currencies.

Rather, he says that there are still good reasons to join the euro. Citing lower transaction costs and the removal of exchange rate risks, the benefits of these can be disputed by a very real experience of suffering in weaker Eurozone nations.