This link to an Open Europe News Summary Blog reveals that any country in the Euro Zone can print as many Euros as it wishes simply by notifying the European Central Bank. This is why Ireland was able to print 51 billion Euros last week to bail out its banks. Here's the quote from the Open Europe blog:
The Irish Independent learnt last night that the Central Bank of Ireland is financing €51bn of an emergency loan programme by printing its own money... ...A spokesman for the ECB said the Irish Central Bank is itself creating the money it is lending to banks, not borrowing cash from the ECB to fund the payments. The ECB spokesman said the Irish Central Bank can create its own funds if it deems it appropriate, as long as the ECB is notified.
This is very disturbing. In effect it allows mutliple, legitimate counterfeiters to print as much money as they wish; therefore, hyperinflation will ensue very quickly, because each Euro Zone member will have a great incentive to print money as fast as possible before prices go up. This could be the very quick end of the Euro, and it could create chaos in Europe and around the world.
American readers can consider this analogy: it is as if each state of the union could print as many dollars as it wished simply by notifying the Fed. Does anyone doubt that the dollar would collapse into hyperinflation overnight?
Click here: Open Europe blog: Is EMU a new Rouble zone?