From Peoples’ News No. 39 (PDF file) – ‘So, who really benefits from euro membership?’:
Only one country has truly benefited economically from membership of the euro, and that country is Germany.
… having made herself the most competitive part of the euro zone, Germany has been given the same gravitational pull inside a single-currency area as Dublin has within Ireland. And, just as other parts of Ireland cannot devalue to make themselves more competitive, neither can the other countries of the euro zone.
The other countries in the euro zone are now in fact provinces of an economic area dominated by Germany, have no tools with which to recover competitiveness, and so are doomed to get poorer and poorer relative to Germany.
An object lesson in how the euro clobbers all except the strongest in the euro zone is Ireland…
So, what is the solution? We should get together with the other peripheral countries to organise an orderly and structured breakup of the euro zone. A return to national currencies would enable Ireland to deal with its lost economic competitiveness through a currency devaluation. That way all the citizens would share the burden, not just workers and the poor and vulnerable. Foreign debts incurred in euros, and the exchange rate at which they should be translated into the restored national currencies, should be concerted with the other peripheral countries. We should also engage in a structured default, a route being increasingly advocated by Irish economic commentators. Though these measures would be difficult in the short term, they would stimulate the domestic economy, giving us a competitive advantage, and counter the mass unemployment and emigration that is increasingly our lot. These exceptional times require extreme solutions.