Joseph Stiglitz: ‘Cheating’ Ireland, muddled Europe

Europe gets some things right, such as its ruling on Apple’s taxes in Ireland, but the euro itself is broken and European politicians lack the will to fix it. It’s unlikely to end well, says the US Nobel economics laureate

Joseph Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University, argues that the single currency was a mistake in his new book, The Euro and Its Threat to the Future of Europe. Photograph: Sasha Maslov/New York Times

Joseph Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University, argues that the single currency was a mistake in his new book, The Euro and Its Threat to the Future of Europe. Photograph: Sasha Maslov/New York Times

Joseph Stiglitz was supposed to be talking about his new book about the euro, which he believes is in danger of destroying the European project. But when we meet in London this week the European Commission has just issued its ruling ordering Apple to pay €13 billion in back taxes to the Republic of Ireland, a move the Nobel economics laureate applauds.

He believes, however, that the Apple decision is calamitous for Ireland’s reputation, which he says was already damaged this summer by the 26 per cent growth rate recorded for GDP in 2015. This reported growth is widely perceived as a distortion of Ireland’s economic performance, which has been more modest.

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