The European Commission has barely approved the discussion about reforming the EU debt rules when economists at the Euro Crisis Fund ESM already know what the reform should look like.

Your proposal is to raise the Maastricht reference value for national debt from 60 to 100 percent of economic output;

at the same time, countries whose debts are above this value should meet certain requirements for government spending.

This is justified by the normative power of the factual: The average debt level in the euro area is around 100 percent, while it was only 60 percent in the early 1990s.

This “adjustment to reality” is not a good justification - even if it may make sense to impose guidelines on highly indebted countries for limiting their government spending.

The governments in Rome, Paris and Madrid want to be freed from the budgetary shackles of the EU in the future.

You will be happy to accept the 100 percent proposal.

And deliberately ignore the second part of the ESM paper.

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