The unlikely political and financial unification of EU

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IN his recent State of the Union speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, called for closer political and financial unification for the 27-nation EU.

This occurred as differences emerged between Germany and France on how to save the euro and solve the debt crisis of Greece presently teetering on the brink of national bankruptcy.

His speech wasn’t so much about ‘saving’ the euro, or even ‘saving’ the EU. It was about the establishment of the Grand Plan long cherished by Eurocrats – mainly from Germany and

France – for central economic management of Europe by Brussels.
I think, though, it’s salutary at this point to recall that Germany and France are as much to blame for the euro crisis as anyone else.
The Greeks were known to be bankrupt when they applied for euro membership.

The auditing that was undertaken was scant at best, certainly it was insufficient, and this was known. So what did Germany and France do? Did they campaign to refuse Greek entry into the currency? I don’t think so.

Once Greek entry was ‘fudged’ and completed, did they get EU inspection teams into Athens to produce a root and branch review and action plan to resolve the issues? I don’t think so.

Did they do anything to assist any struggling Euro members (like Ireland and Portugal) to sort out their fiscal problems?

I don’t think so. When other members really needed a tightening of fiscal policy to ‘cool’ their economies, did they assist? I don’t think so.
Now, George Washington, Victor Hugo and Winston Churchill all held the view that, one day, there should be a United States of Europe. But then, so did Hitler and Napoleon, each in his own way.

The idea of a United States of Europe, though, is quite fanciful. The difference in cultures – especially the economic and business cultures and tolerance for corruption – in the countries concerned is too great.

A better solution would be for the economically effective, more disciplined and organised nations like Germany, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries to form part of some union, and those of the PIIGS of another.

France is on the cusp so it’s not clear in which group it belongs.

But the message for either group is crystal clear. Beware Greeks – or, er, Italians, Irish or Portuguese – bearing debts.

Nora Johnson’s novel, The De Clerambault Code (www.nora-johnson.com) available at Amazon in paperback and as eBook. Profits to Cudeca

 

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