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Advantages 1. Transaction costs will be eliminated. For instance, Uk firms currently spend about 1.

5 billion a year buying and selling foreign currencies to do business in the EU. With the EMU this is eliminated, so increasing profitability of EU firms. Advice to young people: You can go on holiday and not have to worry about gettin g your money changed, therefore avoiding high conversion charges. 2. Price transparency. Eu firms and households often find it difficult to accurately compare the prices of goods, services and resources across the EU because of the distorting effect s of exchange rate differences. This discourages trade. According to economic theory, prices should act as a mec hanism to allocate resources in an optimal way, so as to improve economic effici ency. There is a far greater chance of this happening across an area where E.M.U exists. Advice to young people: We can buy things without wrecking our brains trying to calculate what price it is in our currency. 3. Uncertainty caused by Exchange rate fluctuations eliminated. Many firms become wary when investing in other countries because of the uncertai nty caused by the fluctuating currencies in the EU. Investment would rise in the EMU area as the currency is universal within the area, therefore the anxiety th at was previously apparent is there no more. 4. Single currency in single market makes sense. Trade and everything else should operate more effectively and efficiently with t he Euro. Single currency in a single market seems to be the way forward. 5. Rival to the "Big Two". If we look out in the world today we can see strong currencies such as the Japan ese Yen and The American $. America and Japan both have strong economies and hav e millions of inhabitants. A newly found monetary union and a new currency in Eu rope could be a rival to the "BIG TWO". EMU can be self-supporting and so they could survive without trading with anyone outside the EMU area. This fact makes the Euro very strong already, and even George Soros couldn't aff ect it (well, hopefully!!!!). The situation that EMU is in is good as it seems that it can survive on its own, with or without the help of Japan and U.S.A. 6. Prevent war. The EMU is, and will be a political project. It's founding is a step towards Eur opean integration, to prevent war in the union. It's a well known fact that coun tries who trade effectively together don't wage war on each other and if EMU mea ns more happy trade, then this means, peace throughout Europe and beyond (we hop e). 7. Increased Trade and reduced costs to firms. Proponents of the move argue that it brings considerable economic trade through the wiping out of exchange rate fluctuations, but as well as this it helps to lo wer costs to industry because companies will not have to buy foreign exchange fo r use within the EU. For them, EU represents the completion of the Single Europe an Market. It is vital if Europe is to compete with the other large trading bloc s of the Far East and North America. 8. The Political agenda. There is also a political agenda to European bank (the European System of Centra l Banks -ESCB), the complete removal of national control over monetary policy an d the partial removal of control over fiscal policy. Individual nation states wi ll lose sovereignty (i.e. the ability to control their own affairs). It will be a considerble step down the road towards political union. There are many in the EU who faviour economica dn political union and they are very much in facour ot EMU. There are also many who wish to keep national sovereignty and are strugging to prevent EMU, whatever its merits might be, from going ahead.

9. Inflation From the mid-1980s onwards, there were a number of economists and politicians wh o argued that, for the UK at least, EMU provided the best way forward to achieve low inflation rates throughout the EU. During the first half of the 1980s high inflation countries, such as France and Italy were forced to adopt policies whic h reduced their inflation rates to something approximating the German inflation rates to something approximating the German inflation rate. If they had not done this, the franc and the lira would have had to be periodically devalued, negati ng the fixed exchange rate advantages of the system. Effectively, the German cen tral bank, the Bundesbank, set inflation targets and therefore monetary targets for the rest of the EU. At the time, there was much discussion of why Germany ha d a better inflation record than many other European countries. The consensus em erged that it was because the Bundesbank, the German central bank, was independa nt of the German Government. In countries such as the UK and France, central ban ks were controlled by governments. If the UK government decided to loosen moneta ry policy, for example, by reducing interest rates, it had the power to order th e Bank of England to carry out this policy on its behalf. There have always been especially strong pressures before an election for UK governments to loosen the monetary reins and create a boom in the economy, with the subsequent increase i n inflation following the election. The Bundesbank, in contrast, was independent of government. By law it has a duty to maintain stable prices. It can resist pr essures from the German government to pursue reflation policies if it believes t hat these will increase inflation within the economy. Events of the early 1990s have shaken the naieve faith that linkage to the independent ESBC, the central b ank of Europe would solve all inflationary problems. This is because German infl ation rates in the early 1990s rose to over 4% as Germany strugged with the cons equences of unification. In 1993, inflation was nearly three times as high in Ge rmany as in the UK and twice as high as that in France. Some countries, such as France, have made their central banks independent on the Germany model and there fore arguably don't need to the EMU link to Germany to maintained low inflation. The UK has gone a little way towards giving more power to the central bank by pu blishing reports of monthly meetings between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Governenor of the Bank of England. This forces the Government to justify it s monetary policy publically and makes it harder for it to use interest rates fo r short term political ends. Disadvantages 1. The instability of the system. Throughout most of the 1980s the UK refused to join the ERM (Exchange rate mecha nism). It argued that it would be impossible to maintain exchange rate stability within the ERM, especially in the early 1980s when the pound was a petro-curren cy and when the UK inflation rate was consistently above that of Germany. When t he UK joined the ERM in 1990 there had been three years of relative currency sta bility in Europe and it looked as though the system had become relatively robust . The events of Sept. 1992, when the UK and Italy were forced to leave the syste m, showed that the system was much less robust than had been thought. 2. Over estimation of Trade benefits. Some economists argue that the trade and cost advantages of EMU have been grossl y over estimated. There is little to be gained from moving from the present syst em which has some stability built into it, to the rigidities which EMU would bri ng. 3. Loss of Sovereignty. On the political side, it is argued that an independent central bank is undemocr atic. Governments must be able to control the actions of the central banks becau se Governments have been democratically elected by the people, whereas an indepe ndent central bank would be controlled by a non elected body. Moreover, there wo uld be a considerable loss of sovereignty. Power would be transferred from Londo n to Brussels. This would be highly undesirabel because national governments wou ld lose the ability to control policy. It would be one more step down the road t owards a Europe where Brussels was akin to Westminster and Westminster akin to a

local authority. 4. Deflationary tendencies. Perhaps the most important economic argument relates to the deflationary tendenc ies within the system. In the 1980s and 90's France succeeded in reducing her in flation rates to German levels, but at the cost of higher unemployent, For the U K, it can be aruged, that membership of the ERM between 1990 and 1992 prolonged unnecessarily the recessional period. This is because the adjustment mechanism a cts rather like that of the gold standard. Higher inflation in one ERM country m eans that it is likely to generate current account deficits and put downward pre ssure on its currency. To reduce the deficit and reduce inflation, the country h as to deflate its economy. In the UK, it could be argued that the battle to brin g down inflation had been won by the time the UK joined the ERM in 1990. However , the UK joined at too high an exchange rate. It was too high because the UK was still running a large current account deficit at an exchange rate of around 3 D m to the pound. The UK government then spent the next two years defending the va lue of the pound in the ERM with interest rates which were too high to allow the economy to recover. Many forecasts predicted that, had the UK not left the ERM in Sept 1992, inflation in the UK in 1993 would have been negative (ie prices wo uld have fallen).The economic cost of this would have been continued unemploymen t at 3million and a stagnant economy. When the UK did leave the ERM and it rapid ly cut interest rates from 10% to five and a half %, there was strong economic g rowth and the current account position improved, but there was an inflation cost . Another problem that the early 1990s highlighted was that the needs of one part of Europe can have a negative impact on the rest of Europe. In the early 1990s, the Germans struggled with the economic consequences of German reunification. Th ere was a large increase in spending in Germany with a consequent rise in inflat ion. The Bundesbank responded by raising German interest rates. As a result, the re was an upward pressure on the DM as speculative money was attracted into Germ any. Germansy's ERM partners were then forced to raise their interst rates to de fend their currencies. However, higher interest rates forced most of Europe into recession in 1992 - 1993. Countries such as France couldn't then get out of rec ession by cutting interest rates because this would have put damaging strains on the ERM. The overall result was that Europe suffered a recession because of loc al reunification problems in Germany. Critics of the ERM and EMU argue that this could be repeated frequently if EMU were ever to be achieved. Local economies w ould suffer economic shocks because of policies, forced on them, designed to mee t the problems of other parts of Europe. One way around this would be to have large transfers of money from region to reg ion when a local area experienced a recession, e.g. N. Ireland which suffered st ructural unemployment for most of the post war period, has had its economy propp ed up by large transfers of resources from richer areas of the UK with lower une mployment. However, regional transfers are very small at the moment unfortunatel y. Moreover to approximate the regional transfers which occur at the moment in, say, Britain, there would have to be a huge transfer of expenditures from nation al governments to Brussels - just what anti Europeans are opposed to.