05/20/2014 12:24 pm ET Updated Jul 20, 2014

Populist Death Wish for the Euro Would Plunge France into Depression


"The euro is to blame for everything. Without it, there would be no need for budgetary rigor and growth would return."

This is surely the most absurd argument to arise from the nationalist and populist parties campaigning for the European Parliament elections.

In France, for example, if we were to return to the franc, all the bank accounts of every French person, all capital savings accounts, would be immediately re-labeled with this currency, which would be devalued without delay against the euro.

As savers watch the value of their deposits dwindle away, they would immediately request the opening of a euro account, to put all their assets back, which would have already lost some of their value. The French franc would then be devalued even more.

The interest rate will skyrocket and there will no longer be a way to repay the debts.

Therefore relinquishing the euro would mean without a doubt a massive decline in asset value for the French, even those with the most modest incomes, plunging the whole nation into a depression from which it will be unable to recover.

On the contrary, more Europe is needed, to protect against the excesses of globalization.

This piece is excerpted from Jacques Attali's blog post "Please, Do Not Vote in Favor of the National Front."