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Polevaulter Donkeyman's rants, raves musings and flame wars

History repeats itself, first as . . .

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This is not the first time Greece has destabilised monetary unions. David Cannadine reminds us of a time 100 years ago when Greece was expelled from another monetary union.

Ever since it gained its hard-fought independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1832, Greece has been plagued by recurrent budget crises, frequent state defaults and long periods during which it’s effectively been cut off from the international capital markets.

So while it was one of the earliest nations to join the Latin Monetary Union, its membership soon became more a cause of concern than celebration, for its chronically weak economy meant successive Greek governments responded by decreasing the amount of gold in their coins, thereby debasing their currency in relation to those of other nations in the union and in violation of the original agreement.

So irresponsible and unacceptable did Greece’s behaviour become that it was formally expelled from the Latin Monetary Union in 1908.

Audio here

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Written by Polevaulter Donkeyman

March 3, 2012 at 17:33

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