Midday EU Special
Here's a view from the other side of the pond. Where they see the much-talked-about democratic deficit as being the slow-acting poison in the system. As some of us have for years. Decades even. Extract:- The process of European integration, which has always taken place over the heads of the population, has now reached a dead end. It cannot go any further without switching from its usual administrative mode to one of greater public involvement. The political elites are burying their heads in the sand. They are doggedly persisting with their elitist project and the disenfranchisement of the European population. Not a new perspective but certainly one which is more widely shared than ever before. If not (yet) by reader Moscow.
Meanwhile,ploughing(plowing) its own furrough(furrow), Finland has threatened to withdraw support for the Greek bailout. This could be the final straw, it's said. Here.
In The Times today, Anatole Kaletsky argues for global governmental patience and inactivity. Except as regards Germany. He's now one of a growing list of people who feel Germany must either put up or shut-up-and-get-out. But can anyone see this happening?:-
In Europe, much more active government decision-making is needed in at least one clear respect. As even the Bundesbank has publicly suggested this week, Germany’s commitment to the survival of the euro is now in serious doubt. The Bundesbank has described the ECB’s policy of supporting the Greek, Spanish and Italian governments by buying their bonds as inconsistent with the EU treaties. It has stated that the treaties must be revised to create a proper legal basis for a federal fiscal policy across Europe — or that support for the Mediterranean governments must be withdrawn. This latter policy would lead almost inevitably to the break-up of the euro and a global banking crisis of apocalyptic proportions. There is one bold government action that really could transform the global economic outlook today. Germany should put up or shut up when it comes to the euro. Either the German Government should set aside the Bundesbank’s objections and give full support to other eurozone governments or it should pull out of the euro, leaving its management to France, assisted by Italy and Spain. The liberation of Libya succeeded after Germany opted out of joining the Nato-led intervention. Why shouldn’t the same be true of the single currency?
One thing it'd be nice to have some confirmation (or refutation) of is that While France and Germany were urging Greece to cut its spending on social services and public sector employees (who account for 25% of the workforce), they were bullying Greece to confirm billions of euros in arms deals from France and Germany, including submarines, a fleet of warships, helicopters and war planes.
That old real politique at play. Behind the scenes, of course. Perfidious France, as ever.