Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Guest post: Germany resists British calls for greater European integration.

The following is a guest post from itwassammymcnallywhatdoneit. I should point out that all views expressed in guest posts are solely the opinions of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of Three Thousand Versts.


As economic crises rage across the Eurozone, it is still not clear whether we are witnessing the (relative) decline of Western Capitalism and the passing of the prosperity baton to the East (as the Olympic  baton goes in the opposite direction) or just the latest Western adjustment to the fallout from the financial crisis.

The Chinese, sitting pretty on trillions of dollars in foreign reserves responded to being tapped up by an indebted Eurozone by suggesting that "European labour laws induce sloth, indolence rather than hard work." and told the Europeans to get their act together before looking for their help. (The US of A, having recently had its credit rating downgraded was not invited to provide assistance, presumably to spare their blushes.)
Last week, the crisis in Europe centred on the small Mediterranean country of Greece, perhaps but the Aperitif to a main course of Italy and Spain (with Ireland and Portugal as side dishes) for the perfidious and greedy Markets seeking to devour any country showing economic weakness.

The Greek political class, facing warnings of expulsion from the Eurozone and even from the EU itself, withdrew the 'threat' of consultation with the Greek people via a referendum and promised to toe the austerity line.

In Britain, strangely, there was little support for the Greek referendum position from the British Prime Minister, who, although using the promise of a referendum on Europe to get himself elected leader of the Tory party, was telling the Greeks to hurry up and sign up to the Euro austerity deal.

David Cameron though, finds himself in the very awkward position of needing to throw a few anti-EU bones to his anti-EU backbenchers to chew on in order to stave off further parliamentary rebellions, whilst trying to avoid a (further) dressing down from European colleagues for daring to talk down Europe at such a sensitive time.
The British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr George Osborne has been eagerly repeating the (new?) Tory party line that greater European integration is required in Eurozone countries in order for the Euro to work - you simply cannot, so the argument goes, have such divergent economies as Greece and Germany sharing the same currency and with the same interest rates-unless there is central control of economic policy. Britain, Osborne insists, cannot and will not, bail out the failed currency. The European central bank, must be the lender of last resort for the Euro and stump up the cash to solve the Euro debt crisis.

Except, the European Central Bank does not seem inclined to do such a thing and instead, much to British annoyance, the supplier of cash to Euro countries in these crises, may well be the IMF - part funded by Britain. Ed Balls, Labour’s  Shadow Chancellor,  opportunistically sniffing Mr Cameron's political blood has publically demanded that no British cash arrives in Europe even under the IMF flag of convenience.

So why does the European Central Bank seem reluctant to be the lender of last resort? Well if the BBC political correspondents are to believed it all boils down to one word 'Weimar' - that tragic period in German history when their severe economic difficulties were dealt with by quantitative easing (a practice now very worryingly popular in non-Euro and heavily indebted Britain).

Perhaps a couple of hours of heavy output from the Frankfurt printing presses and there would be enough cash to lend to Greece and Italy?
As the name suggests the European Central Bank- is a European institution - which might lead some to believe it should be run for the benefit of Europe as a whole but it rather looks to others, to perhaps being run by, and for the benefit of,  only one country.

Germany, believed by many to be a 'good' European and a central part of project Euro, a project allegedly set to undermine the Nation states of Europe, is now perhaps showing her true (National) colours.
... surely all that frightful fretting by Eurosceptics over the threat of a European super state hasn't been for nothing? 



87 comments:

Anonymous said...

really well written! are you a professional author?

Anonymous said...

Nice post, but doesn't it help the Brits if they put their dosh through the IMF rather than risk the cat fight that would ensue at home if they gave/loaned the money direct to the ECB.

Freya

ItwasSammyMcNally said...

Freya,

re. "but doesn't it help the Brits if they put their dosh through the IMF rather than risk the cat fight that would ensue at home if they gave/loaned the money direct to the ECB.
".

Yes it does help them and the IMF flag of convenience route is much the better of the 2 bad options(for them).

What is entirely predictable but extremely dangerous for the British economy is that even given the seriousness of the situation 'playing poltics' is to the fore by both Tories and Labour.

It seems that most of Italy's debt has been rolled over from before the Euro entry and their public expenditure is less lavish than in Britain - they are a solvent and wealthy country in need of a re-mortgage - surely a job for the IMF. Arguably the Euro has been a success for Italy.

What is annoying about a lot of the media coverage e.g. the BBC, is that they take their (unquestioning) line from political statements issued by British politicians who have their own poltical reputations (understandably)as prioirty number one.

The cunning Tory plan is to tap into anti Euro sentiment and place the blame for all Britian's current economic woes at the door of the Europeans and the previous (Labour) government. The Labour plan is to ignore Europe and their own legacy and concentrate on blaming the Tories.

... in relation to the Euro being a basketcase as the Euro skeptics(Tory and Labour and Irish) like to tell us - you should be very careful what you wish for.

Anonymous said...

Cameron's position is only going to get more awkward with the prospect of the introduction of a transaction tax on banks looming. Poor fellow.

ItwasSammyMcNally said...

re. interesting to know what LibDems MPs think of a transaction tax and what the Labour MPs think. If Libdems and Labour row in behind the Tories then Davey C should be relativley relaxed. The problem for 'left wing' parties is that they need to be careful of biting/taxing the hand that feeds them as well as watchful what their supporters think.

Not clear if most British people (voters) are with the Germans or with their own government on this? Defending the city/banks/markets not very popular at the moment.

ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ said...

Global Debt Crisis


The greatest private fraud of human history.

Who are the great fraudsters who are becoming the murderers of the human kind?

How does the economy "illness" threaten Democracy and the freedom of people?


http://eamb-ydrohoos.blogspot.com/2012/01/global-debt-crisis.html

---------------------------------

By knowing what happened in indebted Greece, where loan sharks created “bubbles” and the current inhuman debt, one can understand the inhuman plan in total ...understand where this plan started just to bring all states at the same end ...understand how this type of plans are established...

Authored by PANAGIOTIS TRAIANOU

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