Niall Ferguson: euro was 'a terrible idea' [video, 13 minutes 10 seconds]

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The euro may survive as Europe's common currency, but the European Union itself may well disintegrate as a result of the European debt crisis, one of the world's leading economic historians says.

Niall Ferguson told the CBC's Amanda Lang on Tuesday's The Lang & O'Leary Exchange that the problems facing Europe's economy are very dire.

Governments in Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain have already been rocked by unsustainable debt loads, leaving stronger countries such as Germany's to steady them. Even the major economies of France and Italy have shown signs of weakness in recent months, casting doubt on the continent's single currency, the euro.

In the interview, Harvard professor Ferguson said while the continent's leaders have shown "a pretty deplorable understanding of the problems they have," he thinks the euro will ultimately survive the crisis simply because there is no other option....

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