Deadend Euro

“We can’t take part in things that lead us into an even deeper disaster,” she said. “We want more Europe, but a Europe in which joint liability and joint control go hand in hand. What is not acceptable is shared liability and control remaining in national hands.” the telegraph

Might make more sense to have rather less Europe.

Greeks have not become Germans, the Italians are not Dutch; this is not a surprise.

Unfortunately, one of the few things which might bring Europe out of its current slump is a sense of national pride and there is no nation of Europe.

Asking a Greek or a Spaniard to make sacrifices for Europe (read Germany) is not going to work. Sacrifices for Spain or Greece, much better chance of success.

The EU has always seen nationalism as the enemy of a civilized Europe. And the history of the 20th century underscores that point. However, nationalism, patriotism, love of country can be virtues as well as vices.

At the moment there are very few rallying points in Europe. Instead, the good and the grey keep coming up with alphabet soup transnational institutions and bailouts which resolutely constrain the sovereign authority of assorted debtor nations. The Irish found themselves voting in favour of great austerity in the face of the threat that their situation would be even worse if they voted against it. It is possible that the Greeks, this coming weekend, will make the same wicked choice.

The alternative might be penury; but it would at least be a penury which the Greeks (or the Irish) would be able to work their own way out of. Possibly by ditching more than a few of the directives of the EU.

People will work hard for their family, help their neighbours, support their town or even city: if the borders are roughly right and the society relatively homogeneous and linguistically intact, they may even be willing to sacrifice for their country. But it would astonish me if any German, Frenchman, Italian, Brit or Greek was willing to give up much for so nebulous a concept as “Europe”.

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