- It eliminated the possibility of having an exchange rate policy, by having one currency across the entire continent.
- It eliminated monetary policy, by handing it over to the European Central Bank, which was as inflation-obsessive as the Bundesbank used to be
- And it eliminated fiscal policy, by saying that you couldn't have a deficit larger than 3% of GDP.
"And they thought that would end up in the best of all possible worlds because government could no longer do anything to affect the market economy. The market economy would operate perfectly. We would have continuous equilibrium and harmony in the future." - Steve Keen.
In other words the Maastricht Treaty tied the hands of all European governments, taking economic policy out of the hands of elected representatives and placing it in the hands of the hypothetical market. Except that we know that business people are rampantly manipulating the market for their own ends, using the advantage they gain by excluding government from the discussion about how commerce operates to encourage increasing wealth inequality. It's Kafkaesque.
How many more failed experiments do we need for mainstream economists & politicians to admit that free-market policies simply do not lead to stable, prosperous economies?