JIM POWER: The foundations for the euro were set 20 years ago this week. But I fear that the project would not survive any new crisis

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the start of EMU--the European Economic and Monetary Union.

Although the physical currency was not introduced for a further three years, the whole basis on which Irish and indeed European economic and monetary management operates, changed profoundly on January 1 in 1999.

The ECB took control of interest rate setting for the 12 countries that formed the initial club. Currency devaluation disappeared as a tool of economic policymaking.

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