Euro seen as a threat to our national identity

 

The euro represents a direct challenge to the authority of the nation-state, according to a Galway university academic. Prof Kevin Barry of NUI Galway believes the abolition of national currencies may signal an enormous reduction in the dependence of the citizen upon the state, and therefore in the elements which bind citizens together as members of a nation.

"National currencies have been one of the most effective founding elements of the modern nation-state," Prof Barry said. Historically, one way of defining a nation was "an area beyond which one must exchange one's own currency for another currency". That situation would undergo a radical transformation in EU member-states from tomorrow, he predicted.

Prof Barry believes that the euro changeover will challenge our very sense of nationality in a fundamental way.