Europe finally awakes from its utopian dream

A defiant Angela Merkel is doing no more than defending the interests of her own electorate.

And would Mr Obama reverse the fundamental principles of the United States Constitution for the sake of a short-term solution to a global economic problem? (Well, actually, maybe he would. Given his egomaniacal tendency to regard the Supreme Court as a turbulent nuisance when it obstructs his plans, he might not be the best exemplar of constitutional probity.)

By Janet Daley,  19 May 2012

Let’s say this again, just in case a single sentient being on the planet has missed it: Germany cannot simply decide to bail Greece (or Spain, or Italy, etc) out of its debts. OK? However much Angela Merkel is nagged, berated, bullied and patronised by Barack Obama, David Cameron, or the BBC/Guardian axis that regard the preservation of the euro project as critical to their own interests, she cannot just revoke, in a unilateral act, the rules of German government or of the Bundesbank.

Her persistent refusal to “take decisive action” of the kind that would suit the purposes of all those clamorous voices at the G8, is not “dithering”, as it is so often described. In fact, it is not (or not entirely) to be explained in any of the mildly contemptuous ways that her tormentors suggest. It does not arise from an unthinking, superstitious terror instilled in her by the Weimar nightmare of hyper-inflation. Nor is it a narrow-minded expression of the German hausfrau’s values of thrift and self-discipline. What Mrs Merkel is doing, quite appropriately, is defending the integrity of her national constitution, the economic principles on which her country’s economic success has been built, and the interests of her own electorate.

As the leader of a democratic state, what else should she be expected to do? Would Mr Cameron, who is busily assuring us that he will always put the needs of this country first, be chivvied into throwing over the interests of his own citizens for the sake of another national population that has come to grief largely as a consequence of its own misjudgments? Last week, he called for the “pooling [of] fiscal sovereignty” among the eurozone countries. Would he be willing to give up his Government’s right to determine its own tax and spending policy?

And would Mr Obama reverse the fundamental principles of the United States Constitution for the sake of a short-term solution to a global economic problem? (Well, actually, maybe he would. Given his egomaniacal tendency to regard the Supreme Court as a turbulent nuisance when it obstructs his plans, he might not be the best exemplar of constitutional probity.)

In truth, if Mrs Merkel’s reluctance to churn out euros on the Bundesbank printing presses is based on anything other than the straightforward illegality of such a step in German terms, it is probably rooted in more recent associations than Weimar. East Germany is the spectre that hovers over this debacle: the Soviet model of a phoney currency that is manufactured to meet political requirements and which – at the point of national collapse – may simply be exchanged, as the Ostmark was, at an arbitrary nonsense rate in order to avoid pauperising an entire people. That is where Mrs Merkel (and the rest of us) might well see the euro heading if the “decisive action” merchants get their way: not just toward dangerously inflationary levels, but to the status of a fictional currency that can be expanded at will to prop up an ideological delusion.

via Europe finally awakes from its utopian dream – Telegraph.

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