The past year has been a bad one for the Euro. Financial crises have rocked the peripheries of the Eurozone and Greece and Ireland actually required bailouts from the EU and and the IMF. Regardless, the Eurozone is continuing its expansion with today’s addition of Estonia, the northernmost of the three Baltic states. This latest addition brings the number of Eurozone countries to 17 and makes a bizarre postscript to a year of disasters for the monetary union.
Estonia’s two Baltic-speaking neighbors to the south, Latvia and Lithuania, are currently a part of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II), the precursor to Eurzone membership, but their budget deficits mean that their accession won’t come for a few years.
Nonetheless, the question remains: with the turmoil in Europe’s finances, what is the future of the Euro?