Monday 2 January 2012


The rampant and entrenched fear of euroblivion for the common currency and for Europe's economic and political future relevance seems to me rife with dishonest and expedient bursts of fright. The currency union, many skeptics and hand-wringers argue, was conceived with errors, primarily citing that the push for economic integration without political alignment was too naive.
On the surface, that is a compelling argument but maybe that also smacks a bit of sophistry: Greece and Spain may not have the same tax regime and collecting mechanisms as Germany or France, nor perhaps the exact same philosophy when it comes to maintaining social programs, but I think that peace, cooperation, and willingness to participate in the EU parliament and abide by those rules does suggest a good degree of coming together politically. Differences that are not mutually exclusive, even in the context of the shared euro, and there is no politics or policies incompatible with the whole of the community. And granted financial inequalities glossed over made it possible for some nations to secure more and more cheap credit, but all that virtual money is created in a vacuum, betting on making good on outrageous debts, without the backing of property or manpower hours behind it—on both sides. Now these ledgers threaten a renewed stripping of that varnish, moves to create inequalities artificially and enhance competition. I am sure there was greed all around and not all players had the purest of intentions, but the goal of the EU was not this inversion. The fear that is visited on the economies and governments of Europe is not only a diversion-tactic and is going to spur the change that will safeguard these ideals, but rather help vouchsafe the lenders and usurers who've exhausted the opportunities elsewhere. Responsibility, fairness and stability are not fast-moving commodities.