Saturday, May 8, 2010

Saturday Night With a Beer (or whatever)

Was watching Lark Rise to Candleford. Our Saturday Night at the movies kind of thing. Tonight there was an interesting thread on duty and responsibility but I could not watch it all because a neighbor came by. Her husband is in France right now tending to the details of his elderly mother's death. She (our neighbor) is upset because she could not be with him while he goes through this difficult time. Hmmm- the thread stretches on.

Question for tonight- Does the current trouble that Greece is having, portend teh doom of the EU?

or any other you'd like to throw out. The beer is cold.


kkollwitz said...

I think of the current EU as a latter-day Zollverein. The Zollverein, the 'toll-union,' was an economic alliance, the first step in the Prussian unification of the German States into what became Germany in a formal sense in 1871. I expect that the founders of the EU see it as a modern Zollverein with the goal being a unified political entity, a United States of Europe, with the states having as much independence from the central government as our states presently do.

To digress, I don't see NAFTA as a precursor to a USNA.

Therefore, I expect the "adult" EU members such as Germany to bail out the likes of Greece as much as is necessary to maintain the momentum toward a unified Europe.

Who knows, for those who want a U.S.E., this Greek business may be a crisis of Rahm Emanuel proportions, and thus, a good thing.

eutychus said...

Thanks for joining in the experiment, KK.

I can agree with your comparison of the current EU as a latter- day Zollverein, and appreciate the opportunity to be educated on the institution. Like those discussions many years ago in the pub, I can see that I will learn more than I can hope to offer.

But it occurs to me that this could go either way. The ripples of the Greece economic crisis have traveled around the world, creating debt that all of Europe (and others) must pay. This payout will come both in terms of the obvious i.e. the bailout and in terms of hits upon stock markets around the world.
So how long before member nations say, "not my problem?" As long as the world wide economy is healthy then probably a while. But what if financial mismanagement by small countries such as Greece, which before the EU, would hardly have caused a blink in the rest of Europe's economies, much less the world's begins to create real economic hardship in other countries or at least significantly hampers recovery (or prolongs a recession etc)
Perhaps the EU will begin to resemble something closer to a NAFTA situation. Or more control will be handed over to the EU regarding member economies (i.e. economic and/or monetary governance) (This would indeed be a Rahm Emanuel moment)
I doubt it would lead to members leaving the union.

kkollwitz said...

"Or more control will be handed over to the EU regarding member economies"

Yes. Consider EU Brussels as a Washington DC just waiting for a nation to control. Even if it requires an economic catastrophe to get that power, for the elites that supprt Brussels, it'll be worth it, not unlike Obama and the healthcare bill: economic health be damned, power comes first.

eutychus said...

It would seem both sides are being presented for now, Merkel had a 6 point drop in approval when the bailout was proposed and now, at least for the short term, all the stocks are rebounding when they finally got around to making a decision.
Yes indeed, the power grab is a concept that jumps the pond quite well.

kkollwitz said...

Didn't take long, they must read your blog:

Bending the rules, they backed the stability of all 16 countries that use the euro with loan guarantees adding up to nearly $1 trillion.

In the process, the European Union, under crisis conditions, moved fitfully toward more centralization, toward a French vision of an economic government for the region.

eutychus said...

"they must read your blog"
Now that's funny...