How will we survive without the Euro? Without bankers? Without money? Roger Miller managed it, kinda.
Anyone who thinks politics in Britain has a fallen off a cliff, should have a quick look over the channel at what’s going on in Germany.
A bit like the Labour government which has decided to impose itself on Britain having lost an election, you find the German Chancellor Merkel imposing a ‘greek’ bail-out on her fellow citizens without consulting them or her Parliament or coalition partners first.
To say that the country has been put in a state of total shock is an underestimate. Merkel is now politically vulnerable, and her leadership is being threatened from within her own party and without.
As usual let Open Europe (who I must send a donation to, when I cash in my Sterling short position) tell the story –
Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reports that the German contribution to the package has been calculated by the German government at €123 billion, although it may increase. Die Zeit notes that the amount could rise to €148 billion, if countries in receipt of aid themselves did not have to contribute. Bild carries the headline, “It’s incredible…We are again the duped of Europe!”
The Telegraph reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing a leadership challenge following her party’s defeat in Sunday’s regional elections, and amid hostility to the Greek bailout. Spiegel magazine has said that up to 10 regional CDU leaders have begun plotting to remove her after her decision to bailout Greece “failed its first democratic test” with electoral defeat. The CDU/FDP coalition has now abandoned plans for €16 billion in tax cuts because of the political setback, and the tough economic conditions. Handelsblatt reports that a group of critics, centred around Baden-Wurttemberg Minister Stefan Mappus, met yesterday evening in Berlin, discussing their unhappiness with mistakes in the election campaign.
The paper also reports that the Bavarian CSU party feels it has been bypassed in decision making, while the liberal FDP party is angry that the independence of the European Central Bank has been compromised. Former FDP Chairman Wolfgang Gerhardt also said: “These actions by governments should be respecting the independence of the ECB.” CSU Minister Peter Ramsauer is quoted saying: “I found out about this listening to my car radio.”
A comment piece in the FAZ argues, “The continuing attacks of the speculators indicate that EU politicians cannot fulfil their promise yet, and prefer to seek the solution in excessive regulation of the markets, in order to break the disciplinary forces of market prices. Citizens shouldn’t be fooled by that. In the end, the speculator is their last ally in the fight against escalating public debt.” Another article in the paper argues, “It’s better to say markets show justified skepticism on the sustainability of euro deficits.”
Writing in the FT Wolfgang Munchau argues that the German reaction to the bailout “was one of confusion and bewilderment.” He concludes: “When Ms Merkel went to Brussels on Friday, she had a new stability pact in her handbag. Two days later, she and her country woke up to realise that Europe’s monetary union is going to be something very different from what they had imagined. I wonder how she is going to explain that.” A Handelsblatt leader argues that “A true decision should be made in Europe. Either in favour of a political union with all consequences of financial transfers between rich and poor countries…or we should return to a two-speed Europe.”
With Poland decapitated by the air crash, Merkel going out on a political limb, and in London a defeated government trying to cling to power, all allegedly in pursuit of saving the Euro, you wonder what will happen next. The only thing for sure is that markets will not be impressed by such antics. Instability on this scale is not going to work.
It would be better to help Greece to quit the Euro and relaunch the Drachma. But with the USA committing herself to send any amount of dollars to shore up the European financial crisis, the crisis will end up making sub-prime seem like the teddy bears picnic. In such an awful situation, I think we should all start singing.
I’ve penned ‘This Thing Called Power’ in my earlier post and sent it off the Queen Tribute Band, Killerqueen. That should come first. And then we need to sing ‘King Of The Road’ to help us adjust to a life with no money. I’ll put it up at the head of this post. It would be preferable to live without money than with all this mental instability trying to keep the impossibility of the current situation going permanently. Maybe I’ll make up some new lyrics for this one if I get in the mood.
Now that would be a nice musical piece to end with – ‘In The Mood’ I mean. That after all, is how babies get born, and is how life goes on! Don’t let the crisis get you down, OK.