Do you think Italy listened to Milton Friedman?

In 1999 Milton Friedman wrote a letter to Antonio Martino, a founding member of Forza Italia (my highlights):

“Your views and mine are currently very much the same on the euro. . . . What most troubles me as it does you is that members of the euro have thrown away the key. Once the euro physically replaces the separate currencies, how in the world do you get out? It’s a major crisis. As a result, I would strongly agree with your view that the euro should be abandoned before January 1, 2002. At the same time, the odds are very great that it will not be abandoned. The defects of the euro will take some time to show up; nothing happens very rapidly in this area. There are fewer than three years to go. Even if difficulties deriving from the euro occur in those three years, the political system is unlikely to react quickly enough to end the euro. As a result, I think it would be very desirable for some systematic thought to be given to devising some way to get out of the straitjacket of the euro after 2002. The least Italy should do is to keep intact the plates which are used to produce lira.


2 thoughts on “Do you think Italy listened to Milton Friedman?

  1. If you ask me, Italy is the only country that could get outside the euro zone these days. They don’t depend much on foreign financing, they have goods export so a devalued currency would help them more than hurt them, and they are not in the position to loose so much money if they loose control over some countries inside the euro zone. 🙂 I’ve said it before, and is still my opinion today. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it if things get messy for them and the ECB will not help them.

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