Economists Warn Eurozone Days May be Numbered

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BRUSSELS --  Greek leaders are preparing to select a new prime minister after reaching a power-sharing deal that will allow the country to accept a massive rescue package and prevent bankruptcy.

The European Union is hoping its rescue plan will keep the debt crisis from damaging the EU.

But some are now questioning whether anything can save the eurozone in its present form.

Throwing more money at the problem hasn't worked. The bailouts have only grown from 100 billion, to 440 billion, to 780 billion -- to 2 trillion euros.

There could still be more to come.

Too Big to Save?

EU leaders are behaving as if the euro is too big to fail. But economists say it's too big to save. They're predicting that the euro in its current form is going to come to an end.

"It's going to simply be more expensive to keep it [the euro] going than it is to walk away from it," British economist Edward Hugh told CBN News.
 
Currently, the biggest problem for Europe is not the debt but the flawed design of the euro.

The one-size fits all currency might be fine for wealthy Germans, but it's more expensive for Greek or Italians, and it is hurting their economies.
 
"In the United States, you have a dollar in Texas in a bank account and a dollar in New York or a dollar in Delaware. It has the same expected value," Greek financial analyst Yanis Varoufakis explained.

"A euro in a Greek bank has a different expected value to one in an Italian bank, French bank or a German Bank," he said.
 
There are 27 nations in the Europe Union, and 17 are on the euro. They are a mixed bag of rich countries and poorer countries, all trying to use the same currency. For the poorer countries, it's not working.

Clock Winds Down

One solution leaders do not seem to be considering seriously would divide the eurozone into two zones, southern and northern. 
 
"Perhaps the southern version could be trading at one-to-one with the U.S. dollar while the northern version could be trading at 1.8," Hugh said.

What European leaders are offering instead as a solution: more loans, which only buys a little more time. But time is not on the EU's side.
 
"The situation is one of a euro system, of the common currency area, which is disintegrating," Varoufakis told CBN News.

Hugh believes that if Italy teeters into default along with Greece, it will be the end of the euro.

"Either Italy can put its debts straight or eventually the euro is finished," he said.

A collapse of the euro would very likely hit Wall Street many times harder than the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008. Some economists say it could usher in a very deep economic period for America and the world.

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Dale Hurd

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A CBN News veteran, Dale Hurd has reported extensively from Western Europe, as well as China, Russia, and Central and South America.  Since 9/11, Dale has reported in depth on various aspects of the global war on terror in the United States and Europe.  Follow Dale on Twitter @HurdontheWeb and "like" him at Facebook.com/DaleHurdNews.