Rearranging the Deckchairs of Europe

The union of any group of independent states by a single currency was always going to be a predictable recipe for tension: a tug of war between nation states for recognition. Like a playground full of children there will be some with more pocket money than others: more sweets than others or a better home life than others. Some will get new bikes for Christmas whilst others can only aspire to such luxuries, with some parents finding themselves borrowing beyond their means to ensure recognition: getting that new bike on the never-never in order to maintain status. The difficulty comes when the PTA, or in this case the EU decides that those parents that have been borrowing beyond their means, like Greece, Ireland or Italy, must face reality in the knowledge that failure so to do may lead to expulsion or, as is more likely, ‘constructive’ dismissal from the gang. Some states within the EU decided to stay in the gang yet refused to be part of a single currency, deciding instead to maintain control of their own financial destiny. Perhaps they’re feeling just a tad smug as the ‘Euro Zone’ slowly becomes a euphemism for economic disaster and inept financial management. Some nation states, like Britain, feel that their annual financial subscription to the club is somewhat out of proportion to the contribution made by others. On the other hand some countries feel that the EU has been seen to let them down in the face of financial meltdown. Unlikely allies France and Germany appear determined that, come hell or high water, the great European dream must be kept alive at all costs. After all, wasn’t this Degaiulle’s great security brainchild following the implosion of Europe during World War ll? All of this seems far removed from a European Union that was set up to enable the free movement of goods between member states. That was it: nothing more nothing less. No single currencies, (thought the ‘Green Pound’ had existed for some time to aid the movement, trading and standardised pricing of agricultural goods: a wholly different story), no talk of a European Parliament, or, God forbid, a President. When the flow of capital from one country within the Union is seen as simply a one way transaction in order to ‘bail-out’ financial mismanagement, what is the population of the country footing the bill expected to think? How should they react? After all, shouldn’t their respective governments be taking care of business at home instead of pouring good money after bad into failed economies? It’s been muted that capitalism, when truly stretched and tested, has failed. That a new financial world order is required: the cancellation of all debt. In the meantime the British government say it will give no more money in so called European ‘bail-outs’, instead choosing to increase it contribution to the IMF which, in turn may choose to use its capital to bail-out failing European economies. Just how stupid do these people think we are?


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