Saturday, 19 November 2011

Saving The Euro Does Not Justify Every Means

The Eurozone crisis has now transcended economics. Full fiscal union is all that will carry the Euro across the chasm of doom, and the tension this generates is sweeping economics, the markets and the Euro to one side. European unity itself is at stake. The elected governments of Greece and Italy have fallen and been replaced by unelected technocrats who would deliver up fiscal sovereignty ahead of fresh elections. Last night we learned that the EuroZealots are now so deluded in the strength of this cause they'd even have Britain make the leap. 

There's something very ominously totalitarian in this level of dogmatic desperation. Merkel, Schäuble, Sarkozy and the EC crew would seem to forget they're dealing with a pressure-cooker, and would blithely slam the lid on rather than allow people time to let off steam.

There has been warning after warning that this is a time to pause and try to re-establish consensus on European Union itself - to uphold democracy - rather than to drag disparate peoples along by the scruff of the neck just to save the technocratic dream of a single currency, or even a 'single market'. 

Allowing people time to adjust to the grim new economic reality will not save the currency, but it might just avert the catastrophic conflicts of yesteryear. Similarly, riding roughshod over riotous anxiety levels today will not inspire citizens to embrace a decade of economic gloom.  

This is not an attempt to manufacture a moral panic - though one could say that of the case for EU fiscal union. It recognises that ordinary EU citizens have already taken to the streets to express their outrage and duly elected governments have wilted. Forcing fiscal union and further austerity measures is clearly intended to confront those popular forces. Saving the Euro does not justify such means.

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