Euro was introduced (as notes and coins) in 2002. Since that time, the evolution of GDP per capita in European countries has been demonstrating distinct signs of separation between the countries within the Euro area and those which retain own currency. Figure 1 below shows real GDP per capita (borrowed from the Total Economy Database on Briefing.com) normalized to the level observed in 2000 for several European economies. Sweden, UK, and Switzerland (dashed lines) have been growing faster than any of biggest European countries, except Germany. We do not show smaller economies and the countries joined the Euro area later than 2002.
Formally, Germany is the driver of the Euro area economy. But several countries outside the Euro area are doing much better than their neighbors joined the Euro area.
Might it be that Germany is not the driver of economic growth but kind of economic vampire?