The coronavirus crisis has caused new distress in the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), as the southern part of the EMU has been hit stronger than the northern part. The common currency prevents nominal exchange rate adjustment in response to the asymmetric shock. Policymakers have therefore taken recourse to large-scale financial transfers. Based on the lessons from the German monetary union, this article proposes instead the introduction of parallel currencies to facilitate relative price changes. Parallel currencies in the south would allow an increase in competitiveness of the south via real depreciation. The introduction of a parallel currency in Germany would lead to capital inflows and a real appreciation of the new German mark. The pre-EMU pressure for structural adjustments and productivity gains would be restored.
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Gunther Schnabl, Leipzig University, Germany.
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Mayer, T., Schnabl, G. Post-COVID-19 EMU: Economic Distancing by Parallel Currencies. Intereconomics 55, 387–391 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10272-020-0939-4