Thursday, July 16, 2015

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? No One, Angela, No One.

Is it the Euro or is it Angela Merkel - or both?  Whatever the case, Merkel's brutal subjugation of Greece has given the neighbours outside the Eurozone good cause to think twice about joining the common currency, the Euro.

Once, it was an exclusive club that nearly all of Europe aspired to join. Now, in the wake of Greece's latest financial crisis and the hard-line response from many of the Continent's powers, becoming a partner in the European common currency seems less and less appealing to many of the countries lined up for their chance.

From Poland to the Czech Republic to Hungary and points farther south and east, joining the euro is increasingly seen as rife with risks and costs - including a substantial surrender of sovereignty - that outweigh the benefits. And while many of the countries that have not yet adopted the single currency had doubts before the Greek crisis flared, the heavy penalties incurred by Athens to stay in the eurozone have made the trade-offs even clearer and the political leanings against membership more pronounced.

The qualms about partnership in the currency raise further questions about the ability of the European Union to maintain momentum toward its long-held and oft-stated goal of ever-closer union. More than any other policy, the single currency was intended to bind the members economically and politically while reducing the chances of conflict, and the decline in enthusiasm for the union has tracked a more general reassessment of European integration.

The doubts are now playing out primarily in the countries that most recently joined the European Union, primarily in Central and Eastern Europe. Lithuania became the 19th and newest adopter of the euro in January.

...Zoltan Pogatsa, a political economist at the University of West Hungary, said the greatest benefits to joining the eurozone came from undertaking the financial reforms required to become a member. Once that stability is achieved, he said, it may be wiser to keep the local currency and peg it to the euro, as Denmark and Sweden have done.

"This way, you preserve your option to devalue, and you do not fall under the technocratic dictatorship of austerity," he said.



Dana said...

This woman appears to have no shame whatever.

It appears as though she thought it would be a good idea to show her softer side.

So she decided to explain to a young Palestinian girl why she was being denied asylum.

This kraut bitch would have fit right in at Treblinka wouldn't she?

"It's important for Germany to kill all the Jews, surely you understand that. Now just step through this door, there's a good girl."

The Mound of Sound said...

I saw that Merkel story this morning, Dana. I almost wrote up a post about it but figured it would just wind up with Merkel somehow telling the heartbroken Palestinian girl about how Germans should never again be entrusted to set up camps - of any variety.

Purple library guy said...

If she doesn't want a bunch of immigrants overwhelming Germany with their nonwhiteness, maybe she (and the other European leaders) could consider not helping NATO create millions of refugees. Oh, no, wait, that might threaten to make sense--couldn't have that!
I wonder how many Greeks are going to be showing up in Germany because there's no living to be made at home . . .
Sowing the wind.

The Mound of Sound said...

That kind of logic wouldn't be welcome in many European capitals, PLG. I figure it's only a matter of time before they fill the moat and raise the drawbridge to thwart migration out of the ME and Africa.

I think this is a greater strain on European unity than many imagine. I've read that the northern European states, particularly Scandinavia, are becoming concerned about a northern migration out of southern EU states as the result of climate change. There's been speculation of the EU fracturing on a north-south divide. It might not be too many years from now that we'll see signs of that sentiment firming up.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Dana - easy on the "Kraut" business. See that unusual emblem in the right margin at the top of this page? That's the medieval iron cross of the Teutonic Knights. I'm a direct descendant of one who served in the "Northern Crusade" against the animist pagans in the Baltics who left the order from the island of Gotland to retire to civilian life in northern England in 1275. He seemed to have overcome the order's vows of poverty because he was a wealthy man when he hit England. It seems there were plenty of those fellows who made out like - wait for it - bandits. Why England? The king at the time, Henry II, encouraged the order to tame the pagans as it opened the Baltic to English woolens exports so he gave them a pension that they could collect in England after a number of years in service. Sadly the record shows he was the last, perhaps the only knight in the family. He begat a long line of traders and merchants never to become warlike again until the 19th century.

Anonymous said...

A weak Euro >>> stronger USD.
The only World Reserve Currency (TM)
Goldman Sachs was quite active in Greece in the last few years.

Regarding Merkel and refugees: Germany accepts lots of refugees

And before you Dana, start spewing obscenities and calumnies think about your situation and a quote from recent Mound's post “We still have 2bn people living on $2 (£1.30) a day – that is crazy.”
Are YOU living on more than 80$ per month?
What is % of YOUR income donated to overseas charities?

Anonymous said...

Germany has done far more than most EU countries in accepting Syrian refugees, and that's a fact. The anti-German sentiment displayed here is dismaying.

The Mound of Sound said...

I'm sure the general sentiment that has befallen Germany and Chancellor Merkel is dismaying to those who support her position on Greece. That said, she has overplayed her hand and the majority consensus seems to be that she has acted with an undue degree of belligerence. Part of that is because we see the rightwing extremists waiting in the wings to capitalize on the chaos that must ensue when you so burden a nation with debt that it's young people have no future in their homeland. Did Germany learn nothing from Wiemar?

Dana said...

If Angela Merkel is seen as the personification of Germany, and therefore criticism of her is criticism of Germany, the doo-doo is deeper than I thought.

Anonymous said...

Donations to overseas charities never go where they are supposed to help. Search Haiti for one example. As for Germany....I have a sister who was married to a German right out of Brunch swig where Hitler began. When they were preparing for their wedding in the last seventies, his mother said to me, "We whites must stick together". He is a judge with manufacturing businesses in Canada. They managed to receive money out of what was given to Germany after the IIWW mostly from North America. His mother was able to obtain Canadian Citizenship, his father could not. I am beginning to think, my mother (English by the way..ancestry, Anglo and Saxon )might have been correct when she said, "Germany will be the cause of a third world war". What she saw as a "pile of trouble", was the EU. Submitted .... Anyong

The Mound of Sound said...

Ian Fleming wrote of "the eternal Hun - always either at your feet or at your throat."

Anonymous said...

Listening to a report out of Bonn, Germany via the CBC, I learned that 1/3 of Germans believe the reason Greece is in its pickle is due to the fact Greeks are lazy. Now grasp that one. Submitted...Anyong