You eventually pay for LIES and STUPIDITY, even if it takes time. Sadly, the euro was born in a lie and now Merkel has compounded the problems by giving in to French pressure and being stupid. But the German people (in contrast to their leaders) have no desire to be the bankers of all Europe.
What Merkel has done is utter folly and, worse, won’t even fix the problem. The ONLY way to fix a problem is to DO THE RIGHT THING, which is not rescue people from their idiocy but allow them to take the consequences of it. This is not wishing to be cruel but just the way people learn difficult lessons. As J J Rousseau observed, “The fastest way to teach a child about the danger of fire is to let him burn himself once”… or words to that effect!
Besides, the euro WITHOUT Greece would be a damned sight more convincing than WITH it. The Germans gave up the Deutschmark on the PROMISE that the euro would be as strong by following strict rules. The EU even MADE A RULE that no country could have a budget deficit of more than 3%. This was insisted on by Germany PRECISELY in order to avoid this sort of surreal situation where the Greeks, Portuguese, Irish, etc. (and Britain, but we are not in the euro …) would NOT wildly overspend.
These “strict rules” were breached before they had hardly started, first by letting in Greece and then France a year or so later, justifying the decision by saying that the rules didn’t apply to big countries — in other words, the rules didn’t apply to themselves. Brussels, and the French and German elites, LIED to the people.
The criminal bit is that these countries just IGNORED the rules. And even more criminal, they (Germany included) just IGNORED what was going on in Greece and elsewhere until, surprise, surprise, it all reared up out of the sand and hit them in the face. Now the Germans have to accept even MORE tax increases, despite being already very highly taxed, just like the French and – increasingly – the British. The British finally got fed up with being lied to and dumped their government. Germany may be going the same way. (France swings wildly from left to right anyway, and each time it seems worse than before.)
Besides, Germany can’t AFFORD to bankroll the whole of Europe. France, too, is ludicrously over-spent and top-heavy with her state. The consequence of all this will no doubt be vast political gains for the left in both countries, but the left have even LESS idea about how to run an economy – see Gordon Brown of “I do know how to run an economy” fame (perhaps he meant “ruin an economy?!”).
Europe is in deep trouble and I really don’t think the politicians even now understand it. Some say that a gradual decline of Europe is already inevitable as Asia rises; the current mentality of lying, overspending, over-borrowing, bailing out undeserving basket cases and over-centralisation will only accelerate this decline.
But for some, of course – such as Jose Manuel “Boring”oso – this crisis is manna from Heaven; a big step towards a United States of Europe and vastly increased power for Brussels. For God’s sake call his bluff. We don’t WANT an “economic union” run from Brussels. It will be a bureaucratic, tax-heavy nightmare, as in France.
“Let’s be clear,” said the European Commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso, last week. “You can’t have a monetary union without having an economic union. Member states should have the courage to say whether they want an economic union or not. And if they don’t, it’s better to forget monetary union altogether.” EuroActiv May 12, 2010.
These people are really unbelievable. If Barroso is so sure about not being able to have monetary union without economic union (and, of course, ipso facto political union as well) then why didn’t he say this at the beginning? The pro-USE lobby really kept that quiet, didn’t they. It is all a big LIE.
So, to cure indebtedness, you incur FURTHER vast debts? It is surreal. Niall Ferguson, an economic historian at Harvard University, put it this way: “This bailout wasn’t done to help the Greeks; it was done to help the French and German banks. They’ve poured some water on the fire, but the fire has not gone out.” NYT May 17, 2010
The European rescue plan, which totals 750 billion euros thus far and was intended to head off the risk of default, will instead greatly increase borrowing. That could be the end of Europe’s nascent recovery.
by Chris Snuggs