The Euro Crisis

The European Union has tried to solve the crisis that is affecting confidence in the Euro. It seems that the wisdom of the leading Euro nations has brought together a series of proposals which may or may not involve changing the treaties governing the European Union and which have the approval of all of the 17 nations that use the Euro as their currency and some of the nations that do not use it. The United Kingdom and Hungary have rejected treaty changes and Sweden with the Czech Republic want to consult with their Parliaments. It is difficult to summarise exactly what has been agreed because as usual the EU’s policy is shrouded in loose and imprecise language which might serve to assuage local Parliaments but does nothing to explain to all of us exactly what will happen. Politicians like loose language and develop its use over their lifetimes. Generally speaking, the more successful the politician the more ambiguous the statements that fall from his or her lips. Continue reading

The Euro and the European dream

The dream of a united Europe has been created by a living nightmare of two world wars. Those in favour of it see the dream as a way to avoid further European bloodshed. They are probably wrong about that, because the dream of a United States of America was rudely interrupted in 1861 by a desperate civil war and the dream of a united southern slave nation by the bloodshed in what we used to call Yugoslavia. Attempts to unify nations work well sometimes and sometimes end in tears and the European Union is now at the cusp of survival. It can stand or fall, brought down not by internecine strife but by greed and jealousies of economic hardship. Continue reading