Does Germany or Greece leave the Euro first?

I've heard (non-serious) talk that Germany should leave the Eurozone instead of Greece.  The Euro would then fall in value and all would be better, supposedly.

That makes some logical sense, but I don't think it can work that way.  Let's say the new DM-euro currency would suddenly be worth fifteen percent more than the now-depreciated new euro.  Everyone would want to claim that their "old euros" should count as DM-euros and it would be very hard to suddenly introduce a border-defined scheme of money stamping.  The problem would be Germany's to solve.  Yes they could survive a massive inflow of currency from around the Eurozone (presumably checked by bank holidays elsewhere), but why would they wish to court it?  Furthermore they have to count on the other countries to get the bank holidays right, which is likely but hardly certain.

Alternatively, let's say the new Drachma-euro is suddenly worth fifteen or twenty percent less.  Logically that's quite similar to the first case.  Now Greek currency holders would all wish to claim they had "old, real Euros, not the new silly Drachma-euros."  Stamping doesn't arrive quickly enough to demarcate a difference.  Currency will flow out of Greece, and maybe that's bad, but it's Greece's problem not Germany's problem.  Greek-held currency is too small to create a big problem for Germany or elsewhere.

The Germans will strongly prefer that the Greeks leave the currency union and indeed that is how they talk.

On top of that issue, Austria, Benelux and France all pegged to the German mark, with varying degrees of strictness, for some time before the introduction of the euro.  They will want to go with Germany and indeed they probably should go with Germany.  The scenario of "Germany leaving" raises the awkward question of why won't they go too and how to coordinate the entire shift.

One way or another, Greece leaves first, if indeed the Eurozone breaks up.


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