Thursday, July 22, 2010

European integration? Go to jail

Quite often Mr Wolfgang Schäuble and Madame Christine Lagarde make sense. But then again, it seems that just when the synapses get sparking all luminously, the connects short circuit. Take this initially promising declaration they have just posted to Herman Van Rompuy. “A single currency simply cannot work properly without enhanced economic policy coordination”. Correct. Indeed, it’s obvious that to avoid 15/26 members states trying to be Germany and eating each other up, that we need some European division of labour. Let the Germans make cars, French farmers strong cheeses, the Brits decent sitcoms. Let the Czechs be beautiful and rude, the Romanians export bananas, and so on, and so on. So how do you go about that? By throwing deficit states into jail, obviously. 

Eh? Well, look at the rest. It all goes Securitate when they wonder how to enforce the whole thing. How about “political sanctions such as the suspension of voting rights” for “member states which infringe common engagements in a serious and/or repeated manner”? In simple terms this is called disenfranchisement. It’s what happens to citizens when they get locked up for mugging grannies or doing over an off license. Surely the union has others ways to assert its authority than the creation of delinquent states? But then it would need leaders with democratic spines, a federating vision entirely devoid of Schäuble and Lagarde’s upstairs/downstairs mindset.

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