Tag Archives: European Union

Britain and Europe, divided by more than a channel – The Washington Post

Britain and Europe, divided by more than a channel – The Washington Post.

Britain and Europe, divided by more than a channel

By , Published: December 22
Oh, how I love humanity,
With love so pure and pringlish,
And how I hate the horrid French,
Who never will be English!

G.K. Chesterton

Under the strain of the debt crisis, Europe is revealing cracks it has long tried to plaster, paint and ignore.

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent veto of a tighter European fiscal union brought angry criticism. Some continental legislators called for a European Union without the inconvenience of the United Kingdom. French leaders, with their own country’s credit rating under threat of downgrade, tried to direct the attention of rating agencies to British economic failures — a blame-shifting strategy practiced by guilty children on playgrounds everywhere. “There are few more comic spectacles,” responded the Daily Mail, “than Frenchmen throwing fits of Gallic pique against the victors of Waterloo.” In hours of national need, England still turns to the Duke of Wellington. History persists.

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EU treaty: Britain wanted a deal – not a row – in Brussels – Telegraph

EU treaty: Britain wanted a deal – not a row – in Brussels – Telegraph.

EU treaty: Britain wanted a deal – not a row – in Brussels

The Foreign Secretary sets out why David Cameron was right to refuse to sign up to a deal in Brussels last week.

9:00PM GMT 10 Dec 2011

t is the duty of every Prime Minister to put the national interest first, even if it means sacrificing quick applause back home or refusing to please his peers in other countries. Not every Prime Minister passes that test but in the small hours of Friday in Brussels David Cameron again showed that he does. No matter how late the hour nor the pressure he is under he will do the right thing for Britain.

The eurozone crisis is having a chilling effect on our economy, our European neighbours’ economies and the world economy. It is in our interests to see it resolved as soon as possible. We support the eurozone countries in their efforts to resolve the crisis.

Obviously, crucial to that is finding a sustainable solution to Greece‘s difficulties, recapitalising the eurozone’s banks properly and convincing the markets with a credible firewall. The eurozone’s foremost countries have come to the view that eurozone countries also need stricter control over their budgets. That is understandable and may well be necessary but it is a considerable loss of national sovereignty that has profound implications for their national democracies. Decisions on national budgets will no longer be decided in eurozone national parliaments but become a matter of shared decision-making by eurozone governments.

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The Technocratic Nightmare – NYTimes.com

The Technocratic Nightmare – NYTimes.com.

The Technocratic Nightmare

During the first half of the 1990s, I lived in Brussels and wrote about the European Union, among other subjects, for The Wall Street Journal. This was the heyday of European integration. Helmut Kohl, François Mitterrand and Jacques Delors were in power, negotiating the Maastricht Treaty and organizing the common currency.

There was a lot of excitement among the civil servants who saw themselves as the architects of a new Europe. But there were some oddities.

The European leaders would come together for a summit and issue a joint communiqué. But then if you sampled the coverage in each of the national medias, you felt as though you were reading about 12 entirely different events.

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The dangerous subversion of Germany’s democracy – Telegraph Blogs

The dangerous subversion of Germany’s democracy – Telegraph Blogs.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has covered world politics and economics for 30 years, based in Europe, the US, and Latin America. He joined the Telegraph in 1991, serving as Washington correspondent and later Europe correspondent in Brussels. He is now International Business Editor in London. Subscribe to the City Briefing e-mail.

The dangerous subversion of Germany’s democracy

By Last updated: September 28th, 2011

Optimism over Europe’s “grand plan” to shore up EMU was widely said to be the cause of yesterday’s torrid rally on global markets, lifting the CAC, DAX, Dow, crude and copper altogether.

This is interesting, since Germany’s finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble has given an iron-clad assurance to the Bundestag that no such plan exists and that Germany will not support any attempt to “leverage” the EU’s €440bn bail-out plan to €2 trillion, or any other sum.

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All of this was out in the open and widely reported. Markets appear to be acting on the firm belief that he is lying to lawmakers, that there is indeed a secret plan, that it will be implemented once the inconvenience of the Bundestag’s vote on the EFSF tomorrow is safely out of the way, and that German democracy is being cynically subverted.

The markets may or may not right about this. Mr Schäuble has a habit of promising one thing in Brussels and stating another in Berlin.

But it is surely an unhealthy state of affairs. One of the happiest achievements of the post-War era is the emergence of a free, flourishing, and democratic Germany under the rule of law.

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Read the full story here: The Daily Telegraph

Check this out, too:

The euro delusion – goodbye to the third stupid, utopian idea of the last century“, by Ed West, in The Daily Telegraph

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The euro bail-out is a conspiracy against democracy – Telegraph

The euro bail-out is a conspiracy against democracy – Telegraph.

The euro bail-out is a conspiracy against democracy

The bail-out of the euro represents the introduction of socialism on a continental scale – with the British government‘s cynical endorsement.

9:00PM BST 23 Jul 2011

How very appropriate that tanks should have been rolling through the streets of Brussels on the day that Europe dismantled another pillar of democracy. The military display, as it happened, was commemorating Belgium National Day, not the triumphal march toward financial union, but the coincidence was one of history’s better jokes. Europe is now galloping toward the final realisation of its great post-war dream: the abolition of independent nation states whose governments are answerable to their own people.

It is important to realise what is at stake here. When you exercise your right to vote for one party or another in national elections, you are, more often than not, doing so on the basis of its fiscal policies: that is, what it proposes to do about tax and spending. There could scarcely be a more important function of the electoral process than this. If the government is not accountable to you for what it does with your money, and how much it will take from you to do those things, then what is left of your power as a citizen? In what sense is your consent to being governed required? If responsibility for these decisions is to be removed from the elected governments of individual countries and transferred to a pan-European entity, then we are setting out on a course with the most terrifying political implications.

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Read the full story here: The Daily Telegraph

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The euro crisis will give Germany the empire it’s always dreamed of – Telegraph Blogs

The euro crisis will give Germany the empire it’s always dreamed of – Telegraph Blogs.

Peter Oborne
Peter Oborne is the Daily Telegraph‘s chief political commentator.

The euro crisis will give Germany the empire it’s always dreamed of

By Peter Oborne

Last updated: July 21st, 2011

Many of the biggest losers from the Wall Street Crash were not those greedy speculators who bought at the very top of the market. There was also a category of investor who recognised that stocks had become badly overvalued, sold their shares in the summer or autumn of 1928, then waited patiently as the market surged onwards to ever more improbable highs.

When the crash came in October 1929, they felt thoroughly vindicated, and waited for the dust to settle. The following spring, when share prices had consolidated at around a third lower than the all-time high reached the previous year, they reinvested the family savings, probably feeling a bit smug. Then, on April 17, 1930, the market embarked on a second and even more shattering period of decline, by the end of which shares were worth barely 10 per cent of their value at their peak. Those prudent investors who had seen the Wall Street Crash coming were wiped out.

There was one crucial message from yesterday’s shambolic and panicky eurozone summit: today’s predicament contains terrifying parallels with the situation that prevailed 80 years ago, although the problem lies (at this stage, at least) with the debt rather than the equity markets.

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Read the full story here: The Daily Telegraph

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Monetary union, always unworkable, has set in train a European disaster | Simon Jenkins | Comment is free | The Guardian

Monetary union, always unworkable, has set in train a European disaster | Simon Jenkins | Comment is free | The Guardian

Monetary union, always unworkable, has set in train a European disaster

The eurozone is edging closer to doomed fiscal union. But sceptics shouldn’t celebrate, as the chaos will reach Britain too

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 21 July 2011 21.00 BST

At last, a real crisis. The Franco-German salvage operation for the eurozone was inevitable for the simple reason that Armageddon never happens. Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel patched together yet another “temporary” bail-out for the Greeks, and will do so for the Portuguese and Irish if need be. German taxpayers will pay the Greeks’ bills and aid Europe‘s banks as they continue to profit from 20% interest on their sovereign loans. Power always wins, so long as it can get someone else to pay.

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Filed under Britain, European Union, Germany, news & comments, notes and musings from a small island, politics, The Guardian