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World Citizen: Europe's New Democracies Dream of EU, not Euro

Thursday, May 20, 2010

PRISTINA, Kosovo -- As you travel through the new Balkan countries, the national yearning to join the West assaults your senses. From private conversations in the region to signs scrawled on walls and European flags flapping in the wind, the sentiment is clear. In fledgling countries, such as Kosovo and Macedonia, the fervent wish translates into a near-compulsion to do whatever it takes to join the European Union. That deep desire persists in the face of the recent drama of Greece's -- and Europe's -- economic crisis and the shrinking value of the common European currency, the euro.

Nearby, however, the economic crisis has indeed sparked a wave of doubt. Some of the former Eastern Bloc countries that now feel safe inside the EU but have not yet joined the common currency of the "eurozone" -- the region where the Euro has replaced the local currency -- are expressing skepticism about the value of adopting the common currency. ...

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