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The euro is currently a subject of great interest and importance and will be even more so during the coming months and years. It is an even more significant challenge than the 1959 Stabilization Plan itself or the inclusion of Spain in the European Economic Community in 1986, events which, along with the oil crisis, have been most influential on the Spanish economy during the last forty years.

In order to make a more in-depth study of the risks and opportunities involved in Spain's inclusion in the euro project, professor Joaquim Muns, Senior Professor of International Economic Organisation at the University of Barcelona, accepted the task of editing this manuscript, comprising a series of articles by different authors, in which Professor Muns himself contributes an article which charts the progress of Economic and Monetary Union from the Werner Plan to the Stability Pact approved during the recent Dublin summit.

Susan M. Collins, Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at The Brookings Institution and Professor of Economics at Georgetown University, contributes a traditionally sceptical American view of the pursuit of monetary union between so many and such a variety of countries.Manuel Conthe, ex-Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and Member of the Board of Spanish Representatives to the European Community, analyses the advantages and risks of joining a single currency, recognising that the former are more numerous. Juergen B. Donges, Senior Professor of Economics at the University of Cologne and a Member of Chancellor Kohl's Council of Economic Experts, offers a quite sceptical view of the plans for a single currency, emphasising the difficulties which have arisen during fulfilment of the criteria for convergence. José Luis Feito,Ambassador in Chief of Spain's Permanent Delegation to the OECD, refutes the principal objections voiced against Spain's participation in the EMU. José Luis Oller-Ariño, Managing Director of MEFF, carries out a critical analysis of the conventional wisdom regarding monetary union and advocates an acceleration of structural reforms, so as not to aggravate the level of unemployment, and finally, Alfredo Pastor, ex-Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and professor of Economics at IESE, argues that, for Spain's inclusion to be a success, it would need, in addition to the required ability to adapt, to have a higher level of social cohesion and to develop an appropriate collective plan.

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