Europe puts on a grand farce for the rest of the world to watch and wonder at.
The “Greece scuppers the euro” soap opera is steaming along at top speed and the iceberg ahead is more than big enough to sink the Euro, the flagship of those seeking a United States of Europe.
Several very interesting things are becoming clearer about all this:
A) Greece (and for that matter some other countries) was NOT “ready” for the straitjacket of a single currency in the same bed as Germany, Holland and other serious (well, sort of ) countries, particularly in the North ….
B) The EU hierarchy set some stiff rules for entry to the Euro, which Greece LIED about to gain entry.
C) I firmly believe the EU leaders KNEW that Greece’s figures were the delusional fruits of fraudulent pretention, but they PRESSED ON regardless.
The question is, WHY did they let Greece in? And the reason was – I maintain – their GREED. Not directly for money (though that is ever in the background) but for POWER. The more countries in the Euro the bigger the organism and all organisms seek to grow to their maximum.
The bigger the Eurozone the more unstoppable the momentum would appear (and “appear” is certainly the right word) and the more power would accrue to Brussels and Frankfurt. POLITICAL GREED overcame economic and financial logic.
But the chickens always come home to roost and the result could now be the OPPOSITE of what they wanted to achieve.
Instead of a tight core of financially-stable and righteous Eurocountries that could have thrived as a model for others to emulate and join, Euroland has become a haphazard bodge of totally-disparate economies that has every chance of unravelling in chaos.
I have no desire to see the Greeks or anyone else in economic trouble, but we cannot build a new Europe – let alone world – on lies and a lack of realism. A touch of hubris is direly needed. More practically, we need more long-term planning and less short-term political greed and cowardice.
If this Greek crisis had happened when the EU was flush with funds then it could perhaps – temporarily – have been bodged over as usual. Now we are still on a financial knife edge, and it could go either way. There is some talk that this crisis could accelerate political and monetary union, but I can’t see individual countries giving up their financial independence to Frankfurt and Brussels …. what is true is that we are in dangerous waters out of control and maybe heading towards the rapids … (or the iceberg …) Most EU countries are already in serious trouble; the last thing they need is a further drain on scarce resources. The Greek patient could well bring down the German doctor …….
One of the funniest things (if you like black humour) was soon after the EU bigwigs fixed a ceiling of 3% above GDP for countries’ budget deficits. In other words, countries joining the Euro had to guarantee to take steps to ensure this ceiling would not be breached, and this in the interests of Euroland as a whole; a sort of collective responsibility.
Yet as soon as FRANCE found it could not apply the self-discipline to keep to this promise (do promises matter at all in politics?) then some French government spokesperson said when challenged on this that “the rule could not be applied to big countries.”
You couldn’t make it up!!!
By Chris Snuggs