euro-break-upWe had a comment sent in to us recently from Alex, who suggested that the best solution to the ongoing European economic crisis would be to split the eurozone into two separate currencies, with the weaker Southern bloc being allowed to devalue and regain competitiveness as a result.

Whilst this would certainly be a radical move (and would, as Barry Eichengreen argues, present formidible technical and political challenges) it nevertheless has its champions. In fact, last year the British economist Roger Bootle was awarded the Wolfson Economics Prize (along with a cheque for £250,000) for a paper proposing exactly this solution.

Our commenter, Alex, argued that Northern European economies (and mindsets) are similar enough that closer political and economic integration could work:

citizen_icon_180x180I would prefer a Northern euro and a Southern euro. Within [the Northern eurozone] we could have full integration as… all the countries having AAA-status and their economies are pretty much at the same level.

We took this suggestion to the finance minister of a Northern European country to see whether they were at all sympathetic. The answer from Austria’s Minister of Finance, Maria Fekter, was not exactly supportive:

maria-fekterNot at all. The economic benefits of the euro increase with the size of euro area. Splitting-up Europe means less influence at the global level. There is no economic need for eurobonds, and I don’t see the European electorate going for that. We have learned that the economic union is well ahead of the political union and this does not work very well. Thus, we need to work on deeper political integration first.

We also had a comment sent in by Nikos from Greece, who believed it was only a matter of time until the crisis flared up again. He argued that further changes would be required to the structure of the Single Currency if it was to survive:

citizen_icon_180x180Its a matter of time until the crisis spreads all over Europe and all over the world. Austria and Finland produce, but Spain, Greece and Italy don’t buy their products any more. The euro is not designed to cope with situations like this. The euro must change or it will soon become a museum item.

Would Maria Fekter agree? Is the worst of the crisis over, or is there still more to come?

maria-fekterThe downsizing of the over-leveraged economies is about to come to an end. Since competitiveness has improved I am confident that economic convergence will continue. But it is true that all EU Member States got country-specific recommendations, especially in terms of structural reforms, and they are well advised to implement those recommendations. To this end, we have strengthened the economic policy co-ordination in the euro area.

(Translation: The worst is hopefully over, but no, we can’t relax yet).

Next, we had a comment sent in from Paul from the UK, who wanted to know why Austria (along with 10 other eurozone countries) has decided to push ahead with a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) even though it would potentially damage British interests.

citizen_icon_180x180Everyone realises that the UK has a somewhat negative attitude of the EU, so just how is the Financial Transactions Tax, which so blatantly discriminates against the UK, supposed to improve this animosity?

In fact, the FTT hit a stumbling block recently when lawyers advising the 11 participating eurozone states issued a legal opinion suggesting that the FTT would be incompatible with the EU Treaties (partly because it might infringe on the taxation powers of non-participating member states). But how would Maria Fekter, who has been a big supporter of the FTT, respond?

maria-fekterThe European Commission’s proposal definitely does not discriminate against the UK. The proposed tax is based on the residence principle and the issuance principle. The UK stamp duty reserve tax is [already] based on the latter principle, thus it does not seem necessary to argue in favour of it. The residence principle ensures that all financial transactions where at least one party (individual, business or financial institution) is established within the participating Member States are covered. However, only financial institutions participating in this transaction are liable for the payment of the FTT. Therefore, it does not matter where the financial institution is established. Financial institutions established in one of the participating Member States are treated the same way as financial institutions established in third countries and non-participating EU Member States. Worldwide, all financial institutions are treated in exactly the same manner.

It is true that UK does not receive any revenue from this tax, but it is its own choice not to take part in the enhanced cooperation in the area of a financial transaction tax.

Vote 2014

Voting is closed in our Debating Europe Vote 2014! The results are now in, so come and see what our readers thought!


190 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think? Should the eurozone split into two separate currencies, with the weaker Southern bloc being allowed to devalue and regain competitiveness as a result? Are further changes needed to the structure of the Single Currency to ensure it survives?  And is the FTT dead, or can it be rescued? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we'll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

  1. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris.

    If the euro breaks, the EU should break too.. The North that want only trade in their terms and unequal distribution of wealth, and the South with a more equal distribution of wealth, a new euro and a new kind of Union based not on a neoliberal agenda and this kind of Capitalism that the AngloSaxons adore.. And Mrs Fekter, can you explain to us how boosting competitiveness comes with the slashing of the salaries and taking millions out of a country’s economy, impoverishing a nation and ruining its market? If that was the case Bangladesh and Sri Lanka would be the most competitive nations, while Luxembourg and Sweden the least!!

    • avatar

      “Distribution of wealth” which is code-speak for ‘transfer 20% of German/Dutch/Austrian GDP to southern Europe’.

      I think not. You are free to get out of the Euro, nothing stops you from throwing out banker slave Samaras.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      “the South with a more equal distribution of wealth”
      and what is in it for the North then?…..and don’t come out with this tired old line about access to a market for our goods
      I work in a North European industrial manufacturing company and there is very little export to Southern Europe. We have a few minor customers in Spain and Italy, (none in Greece) the majority of trade is with the US, china and Eastern Europe
      On the other hand you go to any supermarkets in the UK and they are filled with produce from Spain, Italy & Greece so it seems to me Northern Europe is beneficial market for the south not the other way round

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Paul X
      I agree with you – some Club Med countries seem to think that the Northern EU nations exist merely to give the Club Med nations money, wipe their fiscal bottoms, hold their work-shy hands and afford them an easy life of luxury!

    • avatar
      Limbidis Arian

      If the North is so “competitive” and puts austerity of the south, how come their own economies have the BIGGEST keynesian flow of funds for social care in the world?
      Germany, Sweden ALL are giving out money for the poor in various programs.
      Meanwhile we get preached at by the likes of Marcel here how “we are lazy” because we bailed THEIR BANKS OUT.

      Well Marcel, w can stop paying YOUR creditors and then it’s game over for you too. How does that sound?

      This is the worse thing ever. If the eurozone splits in two then the whole EU means NOTHING. It is simply an acknowledgement that “some are more important than others” and you can kiss goodbye ANY pro-EU feeling the south might ever had.

      Friends are proven in a CRISIS, not when times are good.
      Obviously the north of Europe is not really such a good friend if they want to ditch this so badly.

      What is “competitiveness” ?
      Slave wages and collapsing buildings like Bangladesh?
      1000+ people killed because of corruption and lax laws and regulations – regulations that makes the EU harder for business but SAFER for workers?

      Mrs Fekter can shove her austerity and competitiveness…

  2. avatar

    The €urozone in it s current composition is not sustainable. I agree with Axel about the idea for a Northern and a Southern €uro. Currency should not be a dogma but a means for economic and social progress. Without going into detail, but German companies would be more innovative if exporting would be less easy as it is now with the current relatively weak €uro.

    Policies of using the crisis for getting more political integration through the backdoor will fail, because voters now are more aware of the character of the EU than in previous decades. Particularly German voters will not accept their silent expropriation by further massive transfers to the South. In the first decade of the €uro wages in Germany were stagnating if not decreasing in real terms, whereas in the southern €uro countries (particularly in Greece) wages were exploding, and this completely detached from level of productivity.

    A little known but suitable predictor for the future of the €uro zone is the Target-2 balance. These indicator shows that currently mainly the workers and taxpayers of Germany, The Netherlands and Finland are financing investments and consumption in the southern €uro economies. This is certainly not political sustainable. Example: The €uro (ECB) enables Southern Europeans to buy, for example, a German BMW without an economic reciprocation. Potentially German workers are financing their own exports – the BMW in our case is simply a gift.

    The reason is a false construction of the ECB system which enables exploitative relationships between member states. This must be changed first of all if the €uro wants to survive. An example for how doing better is the US Federal Reserve System where each of the 12 regional member banks is basically responsible for settling its own imbalances and not the Federal Reserve.
    The key for survival of the €uro is not, as Mrs. Fekter seems to believe, more and more €uro members but more self-responsibility.

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris.

      Bastian the salaries in the South were increasing because of the euro.. Sharing a currency with an economic giant like Germany, the Southern countries had to overspend.. Having countries like Greece and Spain in the eurozone helped Germany and its exports, as it kept the euro rates down..

      You government still refuses to increase the salaries of the Germans, though this would help the countries of the South now, while the Southern countries took such action in the past, that benefited the Germany economy…

      The euro in its current form is doomed to fail, but it is Germany that says no to its dismantling or to any quick and viable solution, like the eurobonds and so many others that were proposed, just because it would hurt its economy.. We are in an dead end.. So the euro is not good for the overall European economy as it is right now..

      If we keep the euro, all countries including Germany must compromise, or if we dismantle it in two parts, then from what we have learned from this crisis, a currency union requires a political union, breaking up the euro would mean breaking up the EU in half.. Creating two separate currency unions would mean creating two separate political unions, two governments in Europe..

      One government for each euro. One for the north and one for the south.. But who would ever dare to suggest such thing?

  3. avatar

    How about no political union and no Euro? What madperson ever came up with the crazy idea to put such radically different economies with such radically different labor costs/welfare/pensions together in the same currency? It was doomed to fail from the start.

    People like me were laughed at when we suggested this would happen 10 years ago. So don’t bring the ‘no one could see this happen’ argument because people did, but apparently we were ‘people of fascist persuasion stuck in the 20th century’ (as per the likes of Wallstroem).

    Ironically, its the proponents of the Eurosoviet Union that are stuck in the 20th century. Those who think the solutions to the problems of the 1950s belong in the modern era are the real crazy ones.

    Give me democracy over Eurosovietism any day.

    • avatar

      Yeah what a funny,mad idea.THAT was the problem. Look at the US. Apparently, all states there were all the same…

  4. avatar

    I believe that this is nonsense! It should remain as it is, as the damaged is already done, and become of this idea to have common currency the states having it have to share the burden. Euro would definitely lose all its power and what is the point of having two different euros? However, I would strongly support Political Union without common currency. For me it looks unbelievable that Maastricht criteria only covers so few principles. Why nobody thinks of social and economic differences. How can we compare salaries, cost of living, labour costs, production costs, taxes in Spain, Estonia or Portugal with what we have in Luxembourg, Belgium or Germany?! This seems crazy! What’s the point to have an economic union with completely different states? This was possible to foresee and probably somebody did, but was just hoping for a miracle to happen! In general, in my opinion, EU should be more political union. Obviously, politics and economics are intertwined, but economic cooperation is still possible whilst having different currencies. I think that now EU should rethink Latvia’s (a state with one of the lowest salaries in the whole union) accession to the eurozone. How is this possible? How can we now compare Latvia and Luxembourg and apply the same rules for both?

    • avatar
      Johann Seltmann

      In my opinion, having countries with economic differences with one currency is not a problem, because the economic conditions differ within nation states, too. The question is how we can deal with this. I think that there has to be a system for redistribution of wealth in the eurozone so that countries, which are hit by the crisis, can rebuild their economy. We would also need higher wages in the north so that consumption there increases, which would help the southern countries to balnce imports and exports.

  5. avatar
    Paul X

    From Maria’s reply to my question about the FTT

    “It is true that UK does not receive any revenue from this tax, but it is its own choice not to take part in the enhanced cooperation in the area of a financial transaction tax”

    For god’s sake that is exactly what is so wrong with it !!!! Why should a country be subject to a tax and yet not get any benefit from it? Yes we choose to not to take part in the enhanced cooperation so any tax associated with it should also not be applicable to UK ……why should the EU “cherry pick” which parts of the FTT apply to the UK?. (i.e. the taking part but not the giving!)

    • avatar

      Goods and services are taxed when they are rendered in a country, and you don’t protest. So why shouldn’t financial transactions not also be taxed when they involve financial institutions based in participating countries? If the UK doesn’t want to participate, that’s fine.

      Transactions that don’t involve eurozone financial institutions won’t be taxed. It’s only when businesses or individuals based in participating eurozone countries are involved that the tax will be invoked, and it’s the right of these countries to push ahead with the FTT.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Paul X
      What I find astonishing about the EU is that it ILLEGALLY created the Eurozone entity despite many EU nations deciding the Euro was not for them.

      Forming a currency union ie currency trading block is against EU law – ALL EU countries must negotiate trade deals collectively NOT as-has-been-done!

      Why are the EU powers-that-be breaking EU laws?

      Who is forcefully and forcibly driving the anti-democratic agenda?

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Paul X
      I agree with you!

      BTW, I seem to recall a certain Anglo-Saxon nation revolting because of “taxation without representation”.

      By taxing the UK and then NOT allowing the UK to benefit from same is immoral and destabilizing!

      I also seem to recall the Swedes implementing a similar tax and then losing 85% of their relevant trade in 6-months.

      You cannot implement such a tax unless all the major players (USA, China, Japan, ASEAN etc) agree.

      For people in the EU to foist this tax upon some EU members is disconcerting, demoralizing and undemocratic.

      The EU will only succeed if it is less totalitarian – a 2-tier/currency EU is the best it can hope for if it continues to pursue its aggressive, unfair, undemocratic and irrational agenda.

  6. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris.

    @Marcel, YOU did stop us from getting rid off Samaras and his party the New Democracy, remember? The Greeks wanted to vote for Syriza in the last elections, but Europe got scared that if a party that did not represent the establishment came to power, they would not do what the establishment of Europe ordered them to do.. So they bullied and threatened the Greek people to vote either for PASOK or the ND party, otherwise they would kick us out of the euro and we would starve and blah blah blah..Admit it, your governments LOVE Samaras and his party, because they are obedient!!

  7. avatar
    Ana Georgieva

    Are all of them gone completely mad! They treat us here on the Balkans as we are mice for experiments! They have completely destroyed our economies!

  8. avatar
    Carlos Villafranca

    Never. That’s stupid and would break EU now completely. Question must be Euro Yes, Euro No. Now is South, soon is going to be more and more countries, little by little EU would crash istelf if they blacksuit men and their local asslickers continue like that.

  9. avatar
    Lazaros Kalaitzidis

    One problerm is that Germany is benefiting from the crisis, as it appears as a safe heaven for people’s money. The second problem is that if the eurocrisis is to be resolved, Germany will have to assume losses, and its banks will lose capitals that will return to the south, so this can cause even more trouble for Germany, through its banks. We’re locked in a stalemate.

  10. avatar
    Carlos Manrique Pérez

    nope, a strong europe and euro is the only way to compete with other powers like the USA and to keep our economic dominance against the USA. If we want to be the first world power, we must be united and federate, and also,expand the EU all the possible we can, arriving to the limits of europe and including the whole russia which has a part in europe.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Carlos Manrique Pérez
      “Economic dominance against the USA” – hmmm, the difference in trade is c $1T and decreasing, if Canada or Mexico join the USA then the EU will fall behind “USA+”.

      Furthermore, If the UK is not allowed to “cherry-pick” and joins “USA+” then the EU WILL become a backwater.

      As regards ‘cherry-picking’ I’m not asking for blood just:

      a common [English] language,

      a reformed legal system with more emphasis on judges that have studied, trained and practiced as judges and too where apt more jury-trials,

      less asymmetric competition – eg look at the number of vertical/horizontal-energy firms in France (2), Germany (3) and the UK (6) – France and Germany have systematically made it difficult for UK firms to compete in said countries whilst simultaneously competing in UK markets.

      restoration of our fishing grounds – at present the UK loses c£3B/year because we give food away to the ungrateful likes of the Spanish and Portuguese.

  11. avatar
    Jaime Martins

    Cool, the rich and the poor, you are really grat, blind people who give money to the bankers. I will not vote for this EU

  12. avatar
    Alex Semiserios

    I agree with Ana Georgieva, but I think that we in the Balkans also have a very big part of the blame for our current mess. Nobody from the outside can understand our societies better than us, so it’s our own responsibility to improve them first.

  13. avatar
    Paula Gil

    The best for our countries of the south is one of two optios: or south goes out in ordered way or germany goes out, like that is not possible we are suffering and if this does not changes we will suffer more and more untill the population explodes and begin a civil war, poors are being poors even more and richers are being richers even more, this cant stand much longer.

  14. avatar
    Paul X

    Brian, I understand the concept behind the FTT but you cannot compare it to other trade
    A country gains duty on imported goods and pays out for exported goods, swings and roundabouts depending on the balance of trade
    With the FTT it doesnt matter if the transaction is from the UK to a FTT member or the other way around, the tax goes to the benefit of the FTT group. It is just a cash cow for those countries who are not so dependant on the financial sector

    I vote for an EU “olive oil” tax…. doesn’t matter who is buying or selling it just tax it and distrubute it to the countries that do not produce olive oil…

  15. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    The reason the euro was created was to contribute to a more equal Europe.. They have promissed us that we would after time become as rich as the North. Not only this did not happen, but actually quite the opposite took place.. It is clear that the North do not want to share, just grab.. They practiced that in all their history after all.. The solution? If they continue like this break the EU place in Rome the capital of they southern union and bring back all the companies from the south that have left to the north because of their tax haven status.. Start charging them the prices we should for our agricultural goods and let them feed on potatoes and tulips.. The south provides them with cheap food in their supermarkets. Without us they can forget the buy on get one free offers in their supermarkets.. We are their bread basket.. We can sell our goods in other markets Paul and without you imposing your will upin us we will eventually be free to industrialize too.. See who will be migrating to where then.. There is always China and Russia to rely on for help rather the selfish Northerners.. You need us because your climate is unsuitable to grow certain goods.. We only have to start industrializing our nations and good riddance of the arrogance and selfishness of our northern “partners”… And just because your company Paul does not export to the south it does not mean that others don’t.. All our cars mobile phones and electronics come from Europe or Asia.. Just a thought!!

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Christos you appear to have a large (Northern potato) chip on your shoulder about what you describe as the “selfish north” We buy your goods you complain about that, the UK is a net contributor to the EU budget which is dished out to countries like yours yet you still complain. Tax in the North is higher than the south so you need to look closer to home as to why companies leave the South for the North, more to do with attitude and corruption I would say
      Maybe the North would lose it’s arrogance when the South starts to show a bit of appreciation for what it already gets instead of constantly demanding more

  16. avatar
    Maciej Wiczynski

    People form Balkans region. For what you are blaming EU? Stop moaning and get back to work, hard work, to build up country of your dreams. Structural fund will definitely help you with that.

    • avatar

      Are we still using that failed excuse/lie of “lazy southerners”?Seriously?

  17. avatar
    luis marçal

    A adoção de uma segunda moeda tornariam necessário duas politicas económicas o que levaria a uma cisão dos órgãos de decisão Europeia o que se pode traduzir por uma divisão efetiva da União Europeia.

  18. avatar
    Samu Tandorf

    Nobody forced you to join our Union. It was the Balkans decision to be in. The least you can do is support this country and make it great!

  19. avatar

    It would be like in the U.S. civil war. The North against the South.
    It is time for us to unite the country, not to break it apart even more!

  20. avatar
    Panagiotis Kontogiannis

    It doesn’t depend on what people wish or how they vote but how they act financially. Is the socialistic south willing to cut government spending and social benefits? If the answer is “yes” then everybody can keep the euro. Else…

  21. avatar
    Martti Immonen

    Well. EU is hardly ready yet and because of that EU has bad growing pains. Still its already shown, that the speed of taking new members was an mistake and the current problems are the results of that. This must be solved and its not going to happen by arguing. Lets instead find a solution

  22. avatar
    Diogo Pais

    Ofc not. I think EU needs to be a real federation, and spot being a intergovernmental institutions and the same time being a supranacional institution.

  23. avatar
    Inês Beato

    It’s a ridiculous idea to have the Euro being treated differently in two zones. For that we might as well go back to our old currencies. Either it is a single currency or it isn’t. What Europe needs is strict regulation of banks and their business, to prevent fraud.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Inês Beato
      More importantly, strict regulation of ‘failing state’ countries like certain Club Med nations perhaps?

  24. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    The euro was launched with great expectations and plans to harmonize Europe’s economies.. We would bit by bit become as rich as the other countries, so they told us.. But in the end not only that did not materialize but the opposite happened.. The inequality among EU countries deepened.. It is if fact Germany and its satelite states who benefit the most and still refuse to either dismantle the euro, allow the peripheral countries to leave or allow eurobonds and other viable solutions to happen because it would hurt their economy.. If we are going to break the euro then we better break the EU as well.. Since from this crisis it is clear that a common currency needs a single governance and deeper political integration, that means that two euros must create two EUs.. One union and government for each new currency… Now would Germany and its little minion collaborators prefer that? Then bring it on!! About time the south got liberated from the dictatorship of the north!!

  25. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Eu estou contra a devisão da moeda o Euro É verdade que todos nos sabemos que a Eurozona esta a viver uma situação complicada Esta é a minha opinião os 28 estados da UE devem dar mais poderes há Comissão Europeia e também o controlo Comunitário dos orçamentos nacionais é esse o sentido de um estado económico de que tantos se falam e com tanta esperança será esse o preço a pagar para que as instituições Europeias possam ter mais poder e dinheiro para os empréstimos comuns O Euro é importante no projeto Europeu e nunca irá fazer sentido que no futuro tenhamos um Euro dividido entre o norte e o sul os paises Eurozona terão que reforçar as suas governações económica e melhorar a sua competividade e crair um ambiente mais estável mais transparente e incentivar o crescimento económico com o jogo politico europista e saudável É a unica forma de a Europa continuar como uma grande potência e um grande mercado há escala global

  26. avatar
    Raoul Manalt

    For all I can foresee, the Euro, in it’s present form, is doomed. Even Germany would dump it when other countries take back their own currencies. We should since now prepare for the collapse of the UE in it’s present form.

  27. avatar

    1.Awesome never thougth something i could write,would ever get published.Next goal,winning the Pulitzer…
    2.Actually the north is at least as socialist as the south.Thinking of social security in Germany and Skandinavia or so.Unemployed get their living payed,free universities,free healthcare and stuff.From the view of an American it would look like the bad bad spirit of communism taking over the world…
    3.Yeah it s the Germans again…You guys could just give us the money back and we d be out of it in a day.We d be rid of our 2trillion debt and would still have 800billion plus.Well it sounds like a good deal to me

    @Carlos There s no way the Russians would join the EU.They re bringing up the Euroasian Union.Basically it going to be Russia ,Belarus,Kazahstan and other former soviet countries.Russian would be stupid to join the Eu because in that Union their products will be superior and they will make lots of money from export.I have a hard time beliving that Russias products would be competitive to Germans` in the EU.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      Russia MIGHT join the EU but it would be a ‘reverse-take-over’ – we would defer to our morally bizarre [shall we say] Russian ‘friends’.

  28. avatar
    Greece B+ Hub

    No! Further integration & we should learn to work it out as a true Union, together we stand & can become stronger. We should learn from our mistakes. We need change & we need to grow stronger out of this!

  29. avatar
    Jakub Master-xotox Kovacs

    Certainly not. Every country has rich and poor parts and they don’t split into separate areas with separate currency. We as european can overcome this problem and come out stronger and more unite. More successful state should help the others to fight corruption and every member should have bigger voice in others budget. Now everybody makes just his own sandcastles with little help from EU and can steal whatever he wants. People of the state can’t do much and even neighbors do not say a thing. Then there is not enough money for the important things. Country takes more and more loans and the depression is here.
    This is the result of slow answers to problems and light integration.

  30. avatar
    catherine benning

    Sometimes I despair. The rehash of ideas that simply do not work appears to be all we are capable of hanging onto. The fear of facing reality and thereby taking measures to correct it is a hostile way to bring us out of chaos into the light. Fighting each other as nations will simply worsen our situation as it cannot improve it.. As a united continent we will stand.

    Here is a defense of the Euro. Stay with it. It helps unravel the confusion so many still appear to have of the situation we are in. Europe is far better in its economic sustainability that most other economies.

    The answer to our dilemma lies in the 1930’s Germany and the US under Roosevelt. Economic National Socialism throughout the entire European Union would rid us of the mess we are presently in.

    This notion will, of course, bring rampant and hysterical fear to our banking sector and those who are doing so well out of our ruin. However, these people are creating dire poverty in the West today. We must learn lessons if we are to rise from the ashes.

    This video is often repressed as it deals truthfully with the economics of financially depressed nations. Although we must not ever be blind to the sadistic, satanic and utter evil that was allowed to breed throughout the society of that day, we must not allow what saved Germany from starvation to be hidden form view. History is important for us to learn from our mistakes and from our financial successes.

    The narrator explains this in full.

    • avatar
      Limbidis Arian

      Catherine you may be the best commenter on this site :)

    • avatar
      Limbidis Arian

      Catherine the first video is actually a tyrade of “pro-austerity” kooks. They aren’t really defending the euro for what you think but because it allows them to push austerity and the destruction of the welfare state ( they even say it ) easier.
      The last 5 minutes of the clip is proof enough of that.

    • avatar

      Catherine, in case you don’t know about those who made the pro €uro clip. They are from a university in Madrid/Spain (by the way, the young professor is a very ambitipus German) and argue on the ground of “Austrian Economics” which is, for example, also the economic paradigm of the Tea Party in the US. If they are right, then the €uro is simply a tool to abolish the European Welfare state. This, of course, the EU establishment (and Christos -:)) could never admit, because to the masses they promis the EU Social Model – a generalization of the Nordic welfare state.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @Bastian and Limbidis,

      i decided to put the links on the Euro clip as a great deal of it is extremely good thinking. Very little on any subject is all one thing or another, Take the second link I found. That could not be considered an all or nothing example of the future way forward, could it?

      What bright individuals do, as both of you are, is separate the wheat from the chaff.

      Best wishes to you.

  31. avatar
    Emmanuel Rodary

    The euro is based on a common monetary policy , while a currency is always based on monetary, economic , social and fiscal policy not undergo crises inrantes its founder imbalance.
    Separating the northern and southern euro euro without these two entities have a social, fiscal and common economic policy is to recreate in northern and southern areas the imbalance is the cause of the crisis of the euro.
    If we split the euro today then split north and south euro and so on until you have currencies that are based on a common monetary , fiscal, social and economic policy , we will only re- created national currencies.
    If we want a common currency, it is not by creating two and four and and 16 currencies that we will reach our target , but giving a real basis for such currency with a federal policy that take control of monetary , economic, social and fiscal policies of the currency area .
    If we do not want to federalize these policies across national boundaries , we can not have healthy supranational currency .

  32. avatar
    Lino Galveias

    Greece B, it just won’t work. The euro is not working, the union is centralized on Germany and France’s interests and all the austerity is killing the economy, as poverty is dominating people’s everyday lives. 10.000 people emmigrate from Portugal each month, the well trained youth is going away, and it also helps in Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus… and the autistic European commission is behaving as everything is good, controled. Bullshit. Things are getting worse all around Europe, where poverty is growing and where food aid services hadn’t been seen since world war 2. Bring back national currencies… now!

  33. avatar
    Gian Marco Elisi

    German should increase wages in order to assure its internal social stability and a normal competition between national economies. Europe must start to think as a single nation, with a common budget accounting not 1% of GDP, but 20%, at the level of US Federal Budget, in order to improve better fiscal conditions and to minimize differences between national economies and their respective credit access. Nations must stop acting as rivals and should make a common economic policy, not stay alone behind subprime crisis. Act as a single actor will permit to have only one efficient system with wider funds in R&D and capable of being a global player in international relationships

  34. avatar
    Emmanuel Rodary

    @Lino Galveias :If the euro was centralized on France’s interests, the French president would not lead the team of countries for a redifinition of euro’s targets including growth of economy, fight against unemployment instead of the only target existing now : controlling inflation.
    At each european summit, the French president put back this subject on the table and request a renegociation of Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance (TSCG) which make it impossible to get out of this (stupid) austerity.

  35. avatar

    @Tarquin Russian think they re a superpower on their own.It s just in the mentality that Russian defeated Hitler,they re the first in space and they don t care what barack georgie or whoever tell them.Russians are like Americans just more educated,tend to think they re the best.Beeing a “junior-partner” of the bigger EU just would not fit with Putins AND the peoples` superpower dreams.Wouldn t just fit with their view of the world.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      If more educated means more RACIST and more HOMOPHOBIC then I’d much rather be a less-educated American any day!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Isabel Lindley Cintra Torres
      IF your ‘you must be kidding’ comment was directed at me then please note that I cannot support RACISM or HOMOPHOBIA – do you?

      IF your ‘you must be kidding’ comment was NOT directed at me then kindly identify your protagonist when REPLYING as to do otherwise is confusing [indeed, one might even say surreal] for all concerned.

  36. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    Jakub yes but do you see a rich part of Finland for example moaning about giving money to the poorer north, instead of decentralizing and creating factories over there? Plus slander them and placing all the blame for the country’s misfortunes on the poor north? No…!! What you say is fine in a nation state.. In a federal entity with many nations the least that those who benefit the most can do is to aknowledge that their policies impoverish other nations and they are the real cause of the continent’s prolonged woes!!!

  37. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    @Paul X… We do not ask for anything from you.. Certainly NOT your money.. We only ask to have jobs and our industries back, something that you do not like to allow…

  38. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    @Paul X also if they gave me the salaries you get I would be more than happy to pay higher taxes and demand less benefits… Lower taxes mean also very low wages.. You convieniently forget that!!!!

  39. avatar
    John Cree

    like rats leaving a sinking ship, you all agreed to be in it, like a marriage, ‘Til death do us part. Or is that only in the good times?

  40. avatar
    Paul X

    Christos, tell me what jobs and industries you are talking about and who took them and I will comment?
    And a salary is purely relative……… If I tell you what I earn it will sound very generous, but then I tell you how much tax I pay, how much food costs, how much I pay for a house what my fuel bills are (something you are probably immune from living in the warm South) etc etc and I can assure you I do not live a life of luxury
    You seem to have this impression that you step over the “border” from the South to the North the streets are paved with gold. I can assure you they are not and we have plenty of people in the UK suffering from poverty, you come over here and tell them as they queue up for food handouts that we should be paying more to help other countries and see what response you get

    • avatar
      francisco rodrigues

      Even being in the south i must tell you that winters are not generous and in the summer a lot of electricity, and thus fuel, is used to keep the places cool

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris

      No Paul I also live in theNorth and I know what you mean.. You misunderstand the point of redistribution of wealth.. I am not asking for more money from rich countries.. But I will give this exampke.. The EU plans to install in Greece solar panels to exploit Greece’s sun resurces.. Where will these panel be built? Shouldn’t be in Greece so factories could be built and jobs created? But no the panels most likelly will be built in already industrilized nations and Greece will only receive a benefit for allowing the foreign companies exploiting its sun… I will elaborate further tomorrow..

  41. avatar
    Panagiotis Kontogiannis

    A clever fish never eats the bait. Unfortunately the voters in Greece, Italy, Spain, France and Portugal always were fooled by promising politician and spent money they didn’t have. It was the obligation of the prudent northerners to warn us, by instead they silenced and profited by our spendings. If the voters have learned their lesson (and refuse to take the bait) and vote for better politician the euro can and should stay. Countries who opt out of the euro should at the same time exit EU. My two cents.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Panagiotis Kontogiannis
      This sounds like the excuse of the casual dope user, slowly but surely increasing the number of daily ‘hits’ and increasing the amount per ‘hit’ until same becomes a hopeless addict AND THEN going on to blame the drug dealer for their plight!

      An addict will never resolve their dependency UNLESS they take full responsibility for their ‘habit’ – blaming someone else shows a lack of admission and a lack of honesty.

      Until ALL EU nations are honest about their addictions and crapitudes (negative cultural memes and practices that decivilize) then the idea of a 2-currency ie 2-tier EU is very appealing.

  42. avatar
    Francisco Rodrigues

    Point is: No one bothers to trully explain central/northen european countries what is happening (and why it happened) in southern europe. A good exemple of that is how little attention was given to the topic on germany’s elections.

    • avatar
      Limbidis Arian

      Of course they don’t, wouldn’t want the people to start asking DANGEROUS questions like “WHY ON EARTH are we still helping failing banks and taxing our poorest instead of our richest?”

  43. avatar
    Филип Кръстев

    most definitely, more like NorthWestern and SouthEastern common label (EUD) can not be embedded @ Prima vista, me don’t believe we share the common understanding yet..:?

  44. avatar
    Augusto Manuel Santos

    i dont believe that Europe will dell with this crisis creating another currencie, creating more ditch between country’s. what pulls us now together is having the same currency. what we have to change is the policy’s that our EU Parliament dictate. We should have some legislation that can be universal for all country’s but never creating ones that puts us all in the same perspective, we Europe are a community of different countrys that have different ways of viewing culture and other particular stuff like legislation that is applied in each country. so because of our particularity we should expect that it will never be possible a full understanding between country’s but we should try to fix in ways possibles the ditch that separates us, not creating more ditch like a separate currency for one Europe .

  45. avatar
    Ricardo M Lopes

    In my opinion, Europe has 2 options:

    A) Gradual fragmentation of the EU, resulting in the end of the EU, where only the biggest economies in the European Continent would continue a close trading cooperation, while 90% of the EU ,as we know it, is ripped apart to individually considered territories;

    B ) Take the final step that would not only allow the EU to solve the economic crisis by making a Community budget where the richest/ most powerful countries would help more efficiently the weakest/smallest ones, but would also allow our politics to be one, directed to community objectives, creating the path of better judgement in using some countriesbudgets , as in countres like Greece, Portugal ( my country), Spain and Italy, politicians seem to have no capability in managing our funds.

    As stated in the beginning of this comment, this is just my opinion :)

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Richard M Lopes
      Why would a Northern EU citizen want to give political power to countries like those you name that are endemically corrupt and are generally and comparatively unstable?

      Yes, the EU might help your country BUT the ‘final step’ as you put it would make Northern EU citizens poorer, increase their levels of corruption and destabilise same.

      Making the EU a political union as-is is a ‘heads you win tails you don’t lose’ scenario for some Club Med countries and a definite loss for the Northern EU nations.

      Helping your ‘chaotic ‘neighbour’ is one thing [and I am NOT averse to that] but then going on to let your ‘chaotic neighbour’ have a hand in controlling your finances, food, security and so on and so forth is a definite NO NO!

      Implementing your ‘final step’ dilutes your pain and inconvenience by passing on some of same to the Northern EU nations – NO THANKS!

  46. avatar
    Nuno Oliveira

    It would be pointless to formalize the pit that the Lisbon Treaty has created, but at least recognizing how the EU architecture creates these asymmetries may be a step forward to avoiding implosion. I have no idea if this will be done before southern economies implode and leaving the EU starts making more sense than putting up with consecutive banking sector bailouts disguised as “welfare state reforms”.

  47. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    Panagiotis where did you see a clever politician in Greece or Europe? And when we tried to get rid off the two establishment parties that led us to this crisis and vote Syriza to government it was then our European “partners” who bullied us to vote again for Pasok or ND in order to keep the euro.. So even if we do find a clever Greek politician, if it does not suit Europe they will do anything to prevent us from voting for him… Greece or any other peripheral country can not change if Europe as a whole won’t change!!

  48. avatar


    “… a currency union requires a political union, breaking up the euro would mean breaking up the EU in half …”

    Not necessarily, first of all currency union needs relyable partners.
    The Netherlands, Germany and Austria had fixed exchange rates, which is the main characteristic of a currency union, long before the €uro, without having a political union.
    For the European situation with its very different cultures and histories we need very flexible solution, not the rigid examples of historical empires or states.

    If the EU can only survive with the help of rigid centralisation, then it should not survive at all.

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris.

      Never said about centralization Bastian.. Centralization is bad.. Look at Ireland and Greece… But if the euro breaks, then so should the EU… Why it should be the ECB in Frankfurt contriving the new euro of the southern countries?

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris.

      Jaysus, sorry.. Typo again..Bloody android phone!! I meant “the ECB in Frankfurt CONTROLLING the new euro of the south…..!

  49. avatar
    Mark Percival

    The actual process of doing this would be utterly horrible. The banking system in southern Europe would collapse, nobody would want to accept the “Southern Euro” and it could only be implemented with draconian measures such as closing all borders, and effectively nationalising everything to force people to use the new money. This is why Greece didn’t leave in spite of all the discussions last year.

  50. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    1) that’s not practical. Breaking the currency into two zones could be as catastrophic for both as if you were to break it into 28 different ones.
    2) There is a simpler solution. Keep the Euro together, and take the gun of the hostage takers (Germany) and point it towards them. Germany has been running huge trade surpluses during the same time that southern members have been reducing theirs. By running such huge surpluses, they are taking away output of goods and services from southern members and that means lower employment there. Meanwhile, the reason why Germany is able to run such big trade surpluses is because the euro is not rising as quickly from Germany’s trade surplus as the Deutsch Mark would have because the southern economies are not as strong. Germany is in short profiting from its neighbors misery and making them more poorer and more miserable while lecturing them on how incompetent they are. The solution is to essentially call Germany out – either Merkel will start spending more and bring surpluses down, and stimulate the rest of the eurozone, or the south will simply secede from the Eurozone to pay off its own debts with cheaper currencies and take down germany and the north along with them. It will be their choice.

  51. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris.

    @Paul X… You spoke about high salaries and high taxes.. Well with austerity in Greece we have now a paradox, of having ever decreasing wages, but ever increasing taxes.. How is this justifiable? We have tax rates close to that of Sweden, but our wages are coming down to the level of many former Soviet block republics.. And not just that, but they tell us that this will boost competitiveness and it will bring business.. But all we see is business leaving the country.. Recently even Greek businesses left Greece to relocate in Holland or in Belgium, to either profit from the lower tax rates of the Netherlands, or be part of the European lobbying elite.. So where is the investments and competitiveness that Europe promised us if we took lower wages?

    All euro zone countries should harmonize their salaries and pensions.. There is no difference in the price of food or clothing between Greece Ireland Germany or France.. Everywhere you go you will have to pay the same for your food.. But there is great difference in the salaries, especially as you move from West to East.. Slovakia Estonia.. These countries must start increasing their salaries, as the prices increase because of the euro..

    Norther countries have grabbed all industrial or financial activity in the continent and they do not allow other regions to flourish.. You changes drastically your economy in the past by closing down your industries and transforming your economy to what it is today, because it benefited the rich .. British ordinary citizens also suffer I know, but that is why we must change the economic model of Europe.. To be fair.. And no I am not talking of centralization @Bastian, but harmonization, two different things…

    The factories that will build the solar panels for Greece must be built in Greece, so that the economy of Greece will change and become more industrial and export not just green energy but the components that are needed to other countries.. then we will be more competitive and more similar to the German economy and only then we will be able to share the same currency as them!!

  52. avatar
    Hermínio Da Costa Machado

    Acho bem que este assunto seja uma preocupao do actual e novo presidente da Cmara, mas importante que, ao ser suscitado tal debate, que incontornvel, os cidados pressintam que tm na CMB interlocutores altura e preparados para ele.

  53. avatar
    Oliveira, Miguel

    Yes we need the United States of Europe … Otherwise, how to fulfill the old dream of Europe?

  54. avatar
    Hugo Fernandes Lourenço

    I belive that something need to be changed. If nothing is changed in the EU, i belive my country, Portugal, should leave the eurozone. The value of the euro doesn’t allow the compettiveness of the exports of the southern countries. In a normal situation, the coin value should be deavaluated, but countries like germany or netherlands don’t want to, wich i understand. Does that means we should create two euro’s? I don’t think so. This situation may result that some countries will leave the euro on its on, and one by one. This painfull situation would lead these countries to skepticism and wanting their own currency for a long time. Dispate all that, what i belive is that we will assist a change of politics in the EU after the european elections, and after the internal elections of the main countries and all countries will remain in the Euro.

  55. avatar

    Mehmehmeh don t you cry little babies.
    Actually we need neither of you.Germans could sell their Leo2,G36,BMW or Blohm Voss frigates or U214s to anyone,ANYONE we would like to.There s China,there s Brazil,Saudi Arabia,India,Russia,Australia.We just have “Vorsprung durch Technik”.We re Germans,we ve got the money,so we make the rules.Get used to it south!Upsetting?Not more upsetting then some posts above

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris

      Jahwol Herr Alex!!

  56. avatar

    Mehmehmeh don t cry little babies…
    Everything we have was produced by the hard work and the ingenuity of our ancestors,within 50 years or less.You ever heard of it? working,industry,engineering and stuff?Very new concept ;)
    You could try it yourself…
    We need neither of you.We could sell our Leopard2 s,H&K G36,PzH2000,BMW,Mercedes or Blohm Voss frigates/U214 to anybody,ANYBODY that we d like to.The technology is just superior.THAT is it.We have “Vorsprung durch Technik”.We re Germans,we got money, we make the rules.Get used to it SOUTH!Find it Offensive?Not as much as some posts above…

    • avatar

      I would be careful of the rhetoric, if members of another club, NATO, asked Germany to make good on its subscriptions of 2% of gdp for the last 35 years…. Where 1.2 -1.5% has been the norm. 1.8 trn euro please. France UK and the USA will accept spreading the debt over a period of years and apply 6% interest.

      Seems Germany likes treaties when it suites them…

  57. avatar
    Paul X

    To have a North and South Euro would mean suicide for those countries lumbered with the Southern version. Not only would they still have the existing disadvantage of being tied into a currency that will not let them devalue but they will be lumbered with the version of the currency that nobody else in the world wants.
    The best of both worlds for the North the worst of both worlds for the South

  58. avatar
    Jorge Figueiredo

    O que é isso de norte e sul? Para nós portugueses, o Chipre fica à mesma distância que a Finlândia! Mal por mal acho que preferiríamos dividir novamente em Europa Ocidental e Oriental. Pois é, uma idiotice pegada!!!
    A solução é simples e só não vê quem não quer!
    Fracassado o sonho europeu, considero que está na altura de Portugal começar a preparar a saída do euro e da Europa. A Europa não nos deixa produzir e vender, de forma competitiva! Mas mais importante que esta medida, seria de certeza a alteração da constituição que agora se propõe em Portugal e inscrever nesta que:
    – Os governos apenas podem assumir compromissos que se esgotem no período da legislatura e os seus défices orçamentais não podem ser superiores ao PIB. Novos compromissos que pretendam ultrapassem estas regras só poderiam ser aprovados se tivessem 3/4 de aprovação por referendo ou 3/4 de aprovação pelos deputados da assembleia da República.
    – Os crimes de sangue e os crimes lesivos contra o estado não prescrevem nos tribunais portugueses, com efeito imediato e retroativo.

  59. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris.

    One final thing and I will close my thoughts on this subject. Some of the biggest net receivers from the EU budget are countries like Belgium, Luxembourg and Ireland, that are located in the Northern Europe. Yet somehow, it is only when the Southern countries concerned that the rich nations protest.. They do not mind being “fleeced of their taxes” as they say when the money goes to Belgium, but they protest when the money goes to Spain.. That is down right racism or even stupidity.. We can not built a United Europe, or even have closer trade with attitudes as such. The only solution would be our leaders to end secrecy behind those summit doors and come clean of what is really happening… End the confusion and the stigmatization of certain nations. Tell the truth… Then once we know what is happening, we can focus on how to solve problems and where to divert attention, funds and so on..Until then.. Keep bickering Europe!! And stay divided… ;o)

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Christos, on the contrary, I object to my money is being squandered on any country whether North or South, East or West.
      I vote for a government, this government takes a large proportion of my earnings in both direct and indirect tax. I have no legal way of stopping to how much of my tax is dished out via the EU to other countries and who gets it (In fact the EU want ever increasing amounts of my money without even being able to account for what it already gets)
      A selfish attitude? maybe it is, but you can be sure of one thing, if the UK ever hits rock bottom you can bet your life we would be made to bow, scrape and jump through every hoop possible by a bunch of gloating Eurocrats before the EU would come to our aid
      The EU only puts up with the UK as long as we keep our wallet open…..

  60. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @Christos Mouzeviris
    I have to agree on the net EU budget receivers point you made particularly with regard to Luxembourg and Belgium as these 2 nations in addition to their net contributions get billions upon billions upon billions per year indirectly courtesy of EU institutions being sited therein and the hotel, travel, entertainment etc generated as a consequence.

    I also agree with your point on reducing EU secrecy, for most matters.

    I disagree with your stigmatization point for several reasons:

    1…If the Club Med nations are NOT told that their irresponsible behaviour is UNACCEPTABLE how will they ever learn? – Sometimes peer pressure is a good teacher.

    2…If a national psyche is so mentally fragile that it cannot abide fair chastisement then maybe it is not fit enough to be a nation.

    3…Some nations are all to eager to wax lyrical about their positive cultural heritage BUT decry any mention of their current decrepit/disingenuous cultural memes.

    Until said countries are HONEST to and about themselves then a 2-tier/2-currency EU is the best the EU can be.

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris

      Paul X and Tarquin, are you so sure that the only nations who practice what you say are the Southern ones? No one wants its taxes wasted and neither do I.. But you can not put the whole blame on some nations that you do not like before you know all the facts from both sides.. There is lack of democracy in EU and Europe and intergovernmentalism.. We do not know how these deals or agreements are being taken by our leaders.. BecauseI doubt that a country likeBritain is unable to defend its interests and is just losing money to other countries and countries like Greece who has alwaysbeen led by countries like Britain and other countries who meddled in its affairs is just sponging money out of other countries.. Don’t you think that something smells fishy here? Especially when Greece is forced to sell out all its natural resources to companies that arebases in countries like Britain.. Until the cards of the games that our leaders are playing are out in the open, stop the stigmatization of certain nation… You just do npt know what your government’s agenda really is..

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris.

      Also you guys you need to learn to start blaming the actions of your own government for a change.. Enough of blaming the immigrants, the Poles, Bulgarians, Romanians, Greeks, Spanish and so on.. You country is controlled by a corrupt elite that is lying to its own citizens about the truth..

      The way that folk like Tarquin is suggesting that some nations should be “chastised” results in the rise of the far right in countries like Greece.. You do not make them comply by slander them, you help nationalism rise..

      Never mind the rise of nationalism in Britain itself.. Are you sure that you are on the right side to always judge others? When will Britain deal with its own internal shortcomings? Are you sure that Britain is losing out, or your elites are using the EU as a scapegoat to place the blame for their mistakes on others? Come on you guys, this even a 5 year old would understand.

      The way that you two are going on, is no different from what the British were doing to the Irish, calling them thick, wild and savages and in need of controlling, in order to justify to their brainwashed citizens why they occupied and colonized their lands.. Or from how the Nazis slandered the Jews, in order to explain to their folk the need to exterminated them.. And the same the European elites did to the Africans in order to justify slave labor…You are doing what the Nazis and the Puritans were doing..Same practices.

      Now days it is the “South” and especially the Greeks who are portrayed as “lazy” in order to explain to the British and German citizens the need to “punish” them by stealing their resources and making them pay for the cock-ups your banks did..

      Because you may not be happy giving your money to other nations, but you are happy to keep giving them to your bankers that rob you blind, just because …well I do not know, allegedly they are British?

      If you want to solve the situation and stop “paying for others,” then the only way is not by slander them, but convince your governments to spill the beans about how these countries “convince” them or “force” them to keep paying for them.. Guess what? I doubt that they will because they will have to reveal the dirty deals they made with them behind our backs, that are not favoring either of us.. They are part of the problem and in fact it is you that gain the most from these deals…

      I won’t continue anymore with this conversation, you two seem impossible to reason with…

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Christos Mouzeviris.
      I am not averse to ‘continentals’ coming to work in the UK.

      I would however, prefer for the UK to pick its target workforce from a greater pool than that evident in continental Europe. I prefer a colour-blind-but-meritocratic border system of UK entry wherein the UK could chose well-qualified people with a good command of English, which is NOT the case at present given EU laws.

      As regards your laughable comments about Greek nationalism being the fault of [YET AGAIN] others – let me remind you that Greek politics had significant extreme [murderous] right-wing AND extreme [murderous] left-wing parties prior to 2008.

      Perhaps the source of extremism in Greece might actually have something to do with the people of Greece and NOT everything and everyone else?

      I do NOT agree with the terrible austerity measures foisted upon Greece by the Germans who seem hell-bent on not only beggaring-thy-neighbour but buggering-thy-neighbour too as is the terrible case with Greece.

      I think a 2-tier or indeed an N-tier Europe is the way to go, so long as my tier doesn’t involve extreme, teflon-denialists like you.

  61. avatar
    Francisco Rodrigues

    Never forget the military purchases for which some people are now in jail that were done. And the bank frauds. The problem isn’t either cultural or ideological. As always, its big corporations interests (and that can be proved, since their contracts are more important to countries rather than people’s) that rule. All the other discussions just drive us affar from the real problem, and they are very pleased by that.

  62. avatar
    catherine benning

    What I feel Europe needs is all its tax revenues to go into one treasury, who then spends it across the entire Eurozone.

    This makes it imperative for currency union to become the way forward for us in the long run. And it’s obvious surely, that this should be paramount. For example, California and Greece are both bankrupt. However, California is bigger in relative terms. Yet, which state do you see threatening to destroy its currency union and create havoc in world economy?

    Germany must be re-stimulated in order to re-balance capital flow across Europe and to do that there must be a strong industrial base throughout the whole of the region.

    This could only be done by a centralised treasury.

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris.

      Totally agree, but how do you achieve that in Europe, that is not one nation but many and nationalism gets in the way of trying to reason with some folk that love to finger point to scapegoats? How can we built a United Europe, when half of the countries believe that they “pay” for everybody else while the other half feel that they are made beggars, or they are treated as unwanted workers or plumbers ? How can you “unite” folk which such economic political and social divisions, never mind the rise of nationalism?

    • avatar

      Christos, have you ever considered that ‘uniting Europe’ may not be such a good idea to begin with? You never seem to question the idea itself. For you, the idea itself seems to be some kind of religion that cannot be questioned.

      Why does Europe need to be united anyhow? I see no reason for it.

      By the way, I’d rather be a nationalist and have our national democracy than to be part of the undemocratic Eurosoviet Union and have laws imposed by foreign politicians who only think of squeezing more money out of my country for theirs.

      We do not need any super power in Europe. The 20th century should have taught you that super powers are a bad idea, not a good one. The 20th century should have taught you that centralizing power is a bad idea, not a good one.

      And since fiscal union would require Netherlands (and Germany) to surrender permanently about 20% of our wealth (since you cannot aggregate wealth at the highest level, it needs to reach some weighted average) just so some unelected politicians in Brussels can then grandstand around the world?

      We will never vote for any such measures. So if fiscal union is needed, and we won’t vote for it, then the only solution is to disband the wealth destroying Euro. The middle class and poor will be better off for it. The only ones who benefit are the rich anyway. They’ve stolen enough from us through their tool, the Euro.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Catherine Benning
      Hmm, very strange – despite 5% of the EU budget going missing per year, despite the the EU Court of Auditors not signing-off the accounts for 19 years you still want to give greater responsibility to the EU?

      CLEAN-UP the EU first, DEMOCRATISE the EU first, enforce premier standards across Europe for both the bankrupt nations like Greece and the greedy enablers like Germany and then who knows. perhaps an EU 2.0 with a 2-tier currency might be possible.

  63. avatar

    Christos, Greece isn’t forced to sell anything. Greece could have chosen to get out of the Euro, return to the drachma and would have been far better off for it.

    It seems that Greece is a masochist country that wants to be chastized and then some. Why on earth would you stay in the Euro when it is so obviously so bad for you?

    And no, I did not listen to the usual scaremongering from the rich, the bankers and corporations about what a ‘disaster’ it would be without the Euro. Because sure, they’d say that, wouldn’t they? Those three groups also happen to be the only ones who ever benefitted from the wealth destroying Euro.

    Did the politicians seriously think, when they set the Euro up, that it would not require a drastic reduction in wages/benefits/pensions in Northern Europe? Did they really think everyone would just rise to the level of the highest country (wealth-wise)? The more integration you have, the more wealth becomes a weighted average, the more we in northern Europe would have to give up. And we will not vote for 20% reductions here just so Greece can afford to stay in the Euro. We never wanted the Euro to begin with.

    Ironically, if Greece left the Euro, not only would Greece be better off, but we here would actually be worse off! So why don’t you do it? It is your CHOICE to stay in. And if you CHOOSE to stay in, you do as we (the paymasters) say. That’s how this works. Period. If you don’t like it, CHOOSE to get out.

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris

      Marcel you are OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY…. If Europe allowed us to vote Syriza we would have left the euro already as many of us wanted.. It is Europe and Germany that want to keep us in.. If we leave other nations will do so as well and then it is good bye euro.. The European elites which include the Dutch one do not wish for such thing… So come back to reality and planet Earth.. Will ya?

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      Christos, the rise of nationalism is natural among tribes. We, as human being, are programmed that way genetically. Yes that unspeakable thing called genetics. The problem in Europe was too fast too soon. A massive influx of immigrants from vast areas outside our borders, with differing social and cultural backgrounds, forced European people into a no mans land of confusion and feeling of rejection. This worked its way into a sense of sacrifice and they were not prepared to make that change. And consequently it exploded into rejection.

      The fault lies with the managers not the people. Europe is made up of a very tolerant group of individuals. And they were taken advantage of because of it. That has ended. They will no longer lie down for it. So, a lot of rethinking has to take place and fast.

    • avatar

      Christos, you are allowed to vote Syriza and indeed you should do so.

      However, you’re up against a concerted effort of massive scaremongering by these elites who are afraid to lose their tool the Euro. They and their friends in the media have force fed a steady diet of ‘collapse/disaster/genocide if the Euro disappears’… this causes just enough people to vote PASOK/Nea Demokratia to keep real solutions out.

  64. avatar
    Paul X

    Christos, you are obviously not bothering to read what I actually write before you go off on the usual “don’t blame the south blah blah blah” routine

    I have never pointed a finger of blame at any particular country. My policy is simple, I don’t want my money wasted wherever it ends up. It makes no difference if it is a French or a Greek farmers pocket that is being lined by my taxes I wholeheartedly disagree with it
    As far as I’m concerned the EU is just a charity distributing peoples wealth without their consent

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris

      Catherine I agree… Paul the message was both for you and Tarquin.. Some arguments were directed at him though…. Can’t argue just for the sake of it anymore…

  65. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    The only thing that could save Europe (not only Eurozone), is the economic integration, by sharing productivity, equalizing salaries and living level, and by creating common banking system. Any other option is damned to fail!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Nikolaos Sotirelis
      What you want has been tried before and failed – it was called COMMUNISM.

      Why should Northern Europeans lose money, suffer lower levels of democracy, suffer higher levels of corruption and prop up cultures that frankly speaking should be radically over-hauled at the very least!?!

      Much as I like Southern EU nations [some of which have splendid histories and have made great contributions to European and indeed world history], I don’t like them enough to allow them to control my purse-strings, or businesses or foreign policies or…

    • avatar

      Tarquin Farquhar: Yeah what people ike you fail to understand this already happens on each separate national level.Londeners pay more for the countryside of UK, Berliners more for the countryside of Germany. And richer ought to pay more than the poorer. But of course you fail to understand that a richer nation , like a richer person ought to be taxed centrally than a poorer one. You want the richer Brit to get taxed higher so that you get your own salary and some basic standard of living but you refuse the richer Nothernerns to provide the same to the Southerns.

  66. avatar
    Francisco Rodrigues

    U think that nikolaos doesnt mean communism, you are misreading his words, i belive. When he speaks about the salaries it means horizontaly and not verticaly, which represents a huge difference. Anyway, the whole south and north thing is a misleading argument, because most of the people in those places are very uninformed about what is happening on his counterparts. Solution to an European problem must be and European solution, simple as that. If there is a solution, it must be with integration, because otherwise the consequences might be worse.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Francisco Rodrigues
      Please refrain from drug usage before posting.

  67. avatar
    Vicente Silva Tavares

    The Euro destroyed the economies of the South. Before the Euro Greece had 30% of industry in its GDP. 10 years later, the industry in Greece is just 4%. In Portugal it happened the same: from 38% of industry in its GDP it has fallen to 13%. Car industry in Italy is having problems of surviving. Since Italy had entered the Euro zone, the GDP growth has been reducing year after year. So, why this happens? Why the Euro is benefiting Germany and is killing the industry of the South? It comes from the stupid idea of globalism that only Europe applies, with very low customs tariffs, the dislocation of industry to Asian countries, the breakages of any quotas to Chinese imports so Germany can export to China its sophisticated goods and, therefore killing the less sophisticated but necessary industries of the South. So, the Southerners get unemployed and poorer for the Northerners get richer. The problem is, this process has the seed of its destruction: When Siemens teach the Chinese to make Siemens telephones are exporting the technology to them and one day we will have Chinese brand telephones competing with Siemens. The Chinese bought Volvo car manufacturer and they will learn how to do quality cars to compete with Mercedes and VW. And much cheaper. May be then, Germany ask for protection and quotas, the measures they forced to dismantle in EU. When Finish Nokia send its manufacturing to Asia, never thought that now there are similar Chinese mobile phones similar with Nokia and even with more applications all over Asian countries. Now Nokia is with problems. Created by themselves when they silly have given their own technology to a far away People. With Southern countries getting poorer, they will import less and will affect the industry of Germany and Holland. Anti-German feelings are growing everywhere and some people already is avoiding to buy German goods. The German policy is destroying the South but at the same time will destroy its own economy. Just a little bit later. And the Euro will implode.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      “Why the Euro is benefiting Germany and is killing the industry of the South”
      Exactly how is it benefiting Germany?
      This “North getting rich at the expense of the South” routine is getting tedious to say the least, how about one bit of hard evidence to back it up?
      The fact is there has been a global recession, everyone is suffering, the only difference is those with a stronger economy suffer less but the stronger economies have always been so, even before the Euro, they haven’t suddenly got stronger at the expense of the weaker economies as some continually claim
      And it doesn’t matter if you send manufacturing to China or not, they will get the technology and copy it. The Chinese were quite capable of buying a Nokia phone and reverse engineering because that is what they do. In fact most companies want to have a plant in China because at least you are closer to what is going on. You can buy Chinese copies of the product my company makes on Alibaba, they are the same distinctive colour and they even use the same identity codes.We have obtained one of the copies and tested it and it is complete rubbish, but the Chinese buy it because they know no better. It is the job of our company base in China to promote our product over the inferior copies

  68. avatar
    catherine benning

    Here is a good explanation of why we are sinking and fast. Following the US economic way to the future is leading us toward an even bigger disaster.

    Why has Europe signed up to a trade deal with those they know are going to lead them further into corporate imposed poverty?

    Are European politicians gaining personal wealth selling us out to these charlatans?

  69. avatar
    catherine benning

    This was a comment in this mornings British Guardian paper. I agree with it one hundred per cent.

    “IMHO, when corporations can essentially run the nation’s infrastructure (including education), dictate what scientists can research, control the flow of information, set the laws, tax the populace, and run their own spy agencies and paramilitary outfits, the sole difference between a corporation and a government becomes that of how you spell it.

    The UK is dangerously close to becoming a nation that exists only on paper. We are owned by the national and international corporations that actually do stuff but are answerable to no-one.

    Whilst it is very unlikely the corporations would join forces to depose parliament, there is bugger all parliament, the military or the citizenry could do about it if they did. That is too powerful for my liking. The marketplace is good for many things, but not for running countries.

    Yes, the government are the enablers. They, after all, own the rights and deeds to the nation, so are the only ones who can sell them. I dislike the notion of “big government” because it assumes a correlation between form and function. If we were all actively involved in the running of the state, government would be as big as you can get. 100%. But it would also be 100% representative and 100% accountable. How is that, functionally, any different from libertarian idealism? Both maximize accountability and minimize the power of any elite, and in pretty much the same way. Yet libertarians want the opposite of big government. In other words, a scalar is just a scalar and has no meaning beyond whatever you give it.

    A corporate state has the smallest possible government – the board of directors or maybe just the CEO. Again, I fail to see how the scalar value tells you much, or how this could be to anyone’s benefit.

    20 minutes into the future, who will care if blipverts are lethal? Dictatorship isn’t about what building the chair is in or what sign is over the door, it’s about the structure of power. What you call the bits of structure are of no importance”.

    12 November 2013 1:46am

    • avatar
      Paul X

      “Whilst it is very unlikely the corporations would join forces to depose parliament, there is bugger all parliament, the military or the citizenry could do about”

      I’m afraid this just made me laugh. It doesn’t matter how powerful a corporation is it can not physically depose anyone without troops on the ground, and I really don’t see the workers at Asda and MacDonalds joining together to take on the military and kick out the government

      I suppose they could try and financially cripple the country to cause civil unrest and uprising but the government would just impose martial law and hang the perpetrators for treason

  70. avatar
    catherine benning

    @Paul X:

    This post sounds like the spouting of a dream world liver. If you believe that take a look at Egypt….. Not to mention Europe is fragmenting as a result of its obsessive pursuit of cultural suicidal policies. Or, is that something we must pretend not to see or hear.

    Couldn’t happen in the UK? Think again, we have ten million or more people who were either born outside of the UK or from cultural backgrounds closer to Egypt genes than they are to a ‘Union Jack’ kind of social mix. The Commonwealth does not breed lovers of the British people. Colonisers are resented and they are moving toward a vengeful precedent fanned by our education system.

    Naivete is not attractive in a man.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      On the contrary Catherine, I fully understand there an great many people in this country who have no loyalty to our government or way of life. My comment is purely in response to the laughable statement in your quote which claims if there was a plot to overthrow the government driven by large corporations then nothing could stop it. If there is ever to be a successful civil uprising in this county then it will be by people on the street not corporate bosses in their ivory towers.Their money can buy most things but I can’t imagine many could drum up an army, particularly as most activists in this country are rampant anti-capitalists

  71. avatar
    catherine benning

    Again, Paul X, you have missed the gist. Think out of the box and try to understand the men you support. I know it is hard to believe, but, it is sadly true.

    We in the UK, following the US, have decided to privatise everything the tax payer funds in our country. Utilities, transport, prisons, schools, our borders, the DWP and now the sight is on our NHS, on and on. I could do a list that would take your head off. We have sold our country to foreign concerns. Mostly controlled by wealthy corporations and the reason they are able to do this is, they sell shares and pay backhanders to get our ignorant politicians to go along with it. Lobbyists are on big burn. Begun in earnest under Thatcher. Thrived and grew under Blair who is still on the payroll with an annual handsome stipend.

    Expand on that thought, which is, what government intends to do with every tax payer funded operation we have. What do you think G4s is? It is a paid army. And it is a terrifying concept. Watch these videos and understand exactly what is going on under our noses and how the people are in the dark.

    It’s companies taking over government departments that are the biggest danger we face. It is centred in the US and the UK is running behind like doting dogs ready to get their backsides kicked.

    These mercenary armies are buyable by anyone with the cash. That can mean corporations and the unaccountable who can come from anywhere.

    Wake up and smell the coffee.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      Sorry, in the last post I added the same link twice.

  72. avatar
    Paul X

    I’m afraid I’m not big on all these you tube conspericy theories Catherine, I leave the Illuminati and all that “chem trail” stuff to my daughter who seems well into it.
    G4s is a security company, the largest in the world I believe but it is still not capable of taking on professional armed forces and I believe extremely unlikely to ever try
    I agree totally that the privatisation of our major utilities into foreign hands was a big mistake, but this was done out of some misguided government attempt to cut costs rather than corporate take over ambitions. (In fact they struggled to privatise some industries because they were performing so bad)

    ..and I’m not a big fan of coffee, it’s too much of an American habit.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Paul X

      You are confusing youtube with it’s clients. Youtube does not have any connection with the different video makers that use their site facility. Each one of them is a separate submission.

      I’m sure many are put up by various organisations and concerns who wish to sell their notions and spread their message. That has nothing to do with the host though.

      I have no intention of trying to convince you these are accurate, as that is for you to decide. However, wait 18 months and watch the movement in the UK. I felt as you in 2007 but the speed change since 2010 has been dramatic. Akin to the rice grain on a chess board analogy.

    • avatar

      Private companies are not all bad. But the crazyness of it if your a small business and the boss makes a dud decision, they are probibly a major shareholder and the financial and legal system holds the individual responsible. In a corperation they get a golden parachute…. Quite similar to civil sevants… If there is personal risk and reward the outcomes are often more self selecting.

      It requires everyone to take responsibility for there choices, from who they bank with, understanding that you give a bank your money this is an investment with a risk that the bank goes bust. To large corperate ceo’s being personally responsible similar to other professions for malpractice…

  73. avatar
    Paul X

    Catherine, I fully understand that You tube does not make any videos, I meant that there are plenty of conspiracy type clips available on youtube (along with lots of other tripe) Youtube is just a vehicle for anyone with an issue and a video camera to broadcast to a (usually completely uninterested) audience and I take the majority of whats on there with a large pinch of salt….apart from the music videos that is

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      Then PX you are narrow in your outlook and have no desire to explore your horizons. You fear what you fail to comprehend. Even when what you see and hear proves correct.

      You should be in government. Birds of a feather. Which of course is why we are falling apart.

      I have no doubt at all you are clinging fast and hard to the news this morning that our new debt bubble, the one Tories have manufactured for the 2015 general election propaganda advising of fake growth and less unemployed, as it is thrilling to you. And enables you to go on living in virtual world.

      No genuine work in the UK amongst the ordinary man. Bring back massive union power.

      I love youtube it allows those who are muffled to speak up against propaganda and lies of the powerful.

  74. avatar
    Paul X

    Wrong Catherine, it is not me who is narrow in outlook and lives in a virtual world
    You are telling me to treat what I read in the UK media as lies and in preference I should believe what unqualified people post on You tube?
    I think you will find more propaganda and lies posted on you tube then anywhere else in the media world, search you tube for any topic and you will find someone discussing it, but that doesn’t mean it’s the truth or they know what they are talking about
    Personally I’m sceptical about the general media as well, but I have more confidence that someone on live TV making a statement to millions of viewing public is inclined to be more truthful than someone talking to a video camera for the benefit of a handful of bedroom warriors. Get caught out lying on national TV and you face the wrath of the nation, lying on youtube will get you a few flaming comments

    I think this just about covers you tube discussions…..

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      LOL: Paul X: You may think your little resentment toward those who have worked in very powerful offices in the White House, or those ex CIA-MI6 who want to free up their conscience before they die, and use Youtube to do so are lying, more so than those at the BBC who fear loss of their jobs if they don’t go along with the admin of the day, well as I wrote before, naivete is an unattractive attribute in a man.

      Lets take a few of our truthful talkers on youtube and listen to their little soin they know will grab the audience shall we.

      And who are you to call the end of any debate? Don’t respond if you feel the debate isn’t suiting you, but don’t tell me or anyone else here to stop their defence or attack just because you have nowhere to go with it. That sounds like the pleb caller Mitchell. Another outright liar.

      What you can’t abide in youtube is, you cannot control their opposition to your special perk making rich boys. They never had to face opposition with any teeth before and they don’t like it up em. Do they.

      Our first proven liar, Friedman. His enormous duplicity has never been accountable for the downfall of the economic system.

      You will love this guy, and note, he is using youtube.

      And I love George Galloway ever since he told the USA to stuff their clap. This time Cameron exposes his duplicity with side tracking.

      And our glorious BBC giving voice to te liears they are told they must support.

      All this great stuff is carried by youtube. Who gives not only these big hitters a voice, but a voice to those who dare to expose their duplicity.

  75. avatar
    Paul X

    Catherine, I wouldn’t dare try and call an end to a debate with someone as esteemed as yourself, I merely stated that my opinion on you tube should now be clear.

    Despite this the fact you are still posting links makes me think you obviously don’t believe my total disinterest in it?

    I’ll say again, however bizarre your belief you can be guaranteed to find someone posting on you tube with a similar point of view, likewise you can always find someone posting an totally opposing point of view. The fact it is on you tube is no proof that either point of view is either valid or supported by public opinion and therefore they are completely worthless

  76. avatar

    If there is a split then poor south will not buy rich north’s products so north will become poor and south will become richer

  77. avatar
    Angel Quintana

    Local currencies should be backed up to avoid normal honest people having to get involved in the lottery payed by the Euro. I know that the Euro will not disappear, too many selfish interests around it, but at least don’t force people to be part of the scam.
    By splitting the euro the unfair situation will just become part of the system, unfair and rotten system as it is already, but hey! anything for that obesity known as “financial growth”.

  78. avatar
    Luly Nurediny

    In my opinion ”euro” should be devalued, it is over valued and not all countries of the Eurozone can be competitive with a such higher rate of the currency.

  79. avatar
    Xavier Schoumaker

    Yeah, the whole idea of Europe was to divide better to make sure the whole continent becomes irrelevant. Sure, let’s re-build medieval walls and ban the internet as well.

  80. avatar
    Tamás Heizler

    I agree, whatmore I think we should introduce an Eastern European currency for Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Romania etc.

  81. avatar
    Devrimer Du

    absolutely not !!! euro should be delete from currency !!! because fucking bulgarian leva bigger than Turkish Lira ! is it normal ??? huah

  82. avatar
    Patrice Puchaux

    Have you more stupid ideas like this one?
    We have to keep euro, right. Split the eurozone won’t resolve anything and will feed more the dissonance between our countries, even inside themselves. We had an economic and politic problem, if we split eurozone in parts the euro will be weaked and will disapear.

  83. avatar
    Egon Witte

    No need..look at USA…there are rich states and poor ones..and one Dollar..

  84. avatar
    Stephen Vargas

    I would say no. I feel that more political integration is needed first, then I think the economies of the euro zone will level out. Changing the economies and political structures of a continent, without knee jerk reactions like this, am sure will take more time before the benefits of the union will be fully felt.

  85. avatar
    Алерим Ћињодар

    North & South? Hm… What about central-european countries that currently use euro? Slovakia? Slovenia? Would they be part of the northern or southern union? And Baltic states? Estonia? Latvia? What would be the criteria for separating the countries? Would these countries agree? It would be really difficult task.

  86. avatar
    Ricardo Exposto

    Jos se voltar ao escudo voce primeiro ia ficar com uma diferena tao grande entre o escudo e o euro q nem valia apena e dps como faz as exportaoes e as importaoes? Sabe o euro mais benefico a Portugal doq muitos pensam … Feliz natal :)

    • avatar
      Eva Benkö

      I agree with you.

  87. avatar
    Emilian Lafer

    What the hell is wrong with this page? How can you even raise such a discriminating and economically crazy question? Get yourselves together!

  88. avatar
    Andrea Tuswald

    Redjade if germany leaves it, there wont be a EU anymore, as it is the biggest crediutor of other countries’ banks. the whole corrupt system would break down, but unfortunately germany would never let this happen.

    every country should get back to its previous currency, so that the economy can recover. but i know this is not in the plan of the elites.

  89. avatar
    Massimiliano Sortolano

    need to be scrapped and start everything all over again, because is not possible to built the united states of europe starting with the currency, because is like built a house starting from the roof instead of the foundation, everything will collapse like it’s happening right now

  90. avatar
    Ray de Bono

    Never. Keep the Euro as ONE currency. And please stop this shallow stereotyping. Malta is in the south, but we have the 15th strongest banking system in the world, a budding finance industry and debt to GDP ratio which compares to central European countries. We have 6.5% unemployment and an expanding economy. Please get your facts straight.

  91. avatar
    Rudi Spoljarec

    No . Or maybe yes , but do devalue the euro in Southern ( poor) countries on your own cost , it means let the central European bank cover all the devaluation difference on credit , loans , mortgages etc. of all the families and individuals and small Companies . Otherwise how you do it??? Or you want to make them slaves???

  92. avatar
    Vicente Silva Tavares

    Better Southern countries just leave the Euro until they have economies that can support a currency too much up rated that turns their goods and services too much expensives. The Euro just destroyed the industry in the Southern countries.

  93. avatar
    Vicente Silva Tavares

    Interestingly, a journalist writing about the future in this end of year, published a very interesting text: THE PIGS REBELLION. I am writing here a summary: Southern countries reunited over the initiative of one of them to plan a common strategy towards the debt and European Union policies. One of them proposed to leave all together the EU and form a common strategy to pay the public debt. Not less than the conditions Germany had after the second WWII: no more than 10% of the GDP, and 70% of the positive superavit of the trade balance. Priority to pay to creditors willing to negotiate the interest rates and extend the time. On third day Italy proposes to form a new union for Southern countries which got the support of all of them. After a discussion, France was left out. Northern Europe at first could not believe such thing could go ahead and the newspapers called it immediately as the ?The PIGS Rebellion?. China offers itself to replace the creditors, buying the PIGS debt. 15 days the countries adopt a looser union without a common currency, but with the same rules of free movement of people and capital among the countries of the new union baptized Mediterranean Union. Also it was forbade for companies working in these countries to have fake head-offices in Holland to not pay taxes. Using the exchange rates as a policy, the trade balance got immediately better transforming the produced goods cheaper and the imported much more expensive. Germany started having difficulty in exporting its cars to Southern countries since they were very expensive and were replaced by Italian and Spanish cars. Against all forecasts of disaster, the new union became a success and invited Turkey and Morocco to join.

  94. avatar
    Sabo Doru-Cosmin

    It’s very late for that. It’s wrong that nobody thought about assuring a decent share for the economies that cannot compete on the same speed with northern Europe, especially Germany. After all this is the aim of cohesion funds, to alleviate the strong differences between European countries.

  95. avatar

    For me, EU is about uniting, not dividing. Such step would be a present to all the EU sceptics and a final proof from the EU itself showing that EU’s unity is impossible.
    Moreover, where with some countries it could be easy to decide whether they should be in ‘northern euro zone’ or ‘southern’, with others it would not…

  96. avatar

    Reading this debate I see a clear split between citizens of the Eurozone in two groups:
    • Citizens of the North believing that debts must always be paid back and convinced that they pay already too much for the “others” who have not been virtuous enough (Over-spending and not working as hard as they do). Their biggest fear is inflation and to have to pay more for others.
    • Citizens of the South believing that the price to pay to stay in the Euro is excessive, that their debt cannot be paid back and that their bad finance and economy is due to the “others”, who use it to spoil them. Their biggest fear is unemployment and austerity forever.
    While the fears of both of them are justified, if Euro continues to be governed as it is, the rest of their beliefs are, at least partly, false.
    Those of the North seem to ignore that their country accepted only to give loans (and not grants!) which were not used to help the “others”, but to save their own banks. They also ignore that the “others” work harder and are paid less than them and that some of the rich and virtuous countries of their side did not paid their debts to the “others” in the past (like Germany who never paid its excessive debts after war). They prefer also to ignore how some of the companies of their countries managed to overprice some of their exports (especially of military equipment) to the “others” or how some of their banks made big profits by giving risky loans to the “others” to help them buy their products.
    Those of the South prefer ignore that part of the price they paid was justified by unsustainable deficits produced by their bad finance and economy. They also refuse to explicitly point out that the crisis must partly be considered as their responsibility, as they did not always pay their fair share of taxes, elected sometimes corrupted politicians for years and tolerated that these politicians built corrupted and inefficient states misspending public money and mismanaging public assets and services.
    Under current policies and prejudices, the deal proposed by a unique Euro has short term viability, at least politically, in the South: imposed austerity and recession policies, producing unacceptable unemployment rates in the South, without any sort of real transfer from the North to the South as a counterpart. The lack of any perspective of limitation of the duration and extension of such policies and of their effects will lead to either bankruptcy or/and political unrest the countries of the South and big losses in the North.
    While it is true that the best solution would have been the consolidation of one unique euro, it is not realistic to envisage rapidly a necessary and urgent requirement for this consolidation: a political union. It would imply a radical change of mutual prejudices to be accepted and important changes of current policies to be effective.
    Such a political union would mean for the North to accept not only to really pay with subsidies (or mutualised loans) the South to relieve it from its debts and stop its recession, but also to accept the probable inflation created by such subsidies. For the South this would mean to accept the rule of the North and to take all required measures for rebuilding rapidly an efficient, sustainable and uncorrupted economy and public administration with, amongst others, fair tax collection.
    As long as these options are categorically refused by the North and provoke big resistances in the South, we must admit that a political union of all the countries of the Eurozone is not possible.
    So, unfortunately, a negotiated split into two separate political unions seems a more realistic alternative to avoid an uncontrolled split of the Eurozone in pieces, which would be the end not only of the Eurozone but also of the European integration process.
    In my view, to work in a constructive way for Europe, this scenario needs that Germany forms the Union of the North, while France will form, with others, the Union of the South.
    The North will be happy to base its Union on current neoliberal policies for keeping a strong euro (the current euro-mark), without inflation, which have a large support from its citizens.
    The South will be able to opt for a Union based on more Keynesian policies, by adopting a reasonably weaker euro (euro-franc) and a limited inflation necessary to stop recession and unemployment, to lower its debt/GDP ratios and to allow, selective, public and private productive investments to restructure its economy. Such option and provided that the South defines also common policies to build efficient, sustainable public administrations with, amongst others, fair tax collection in all its countries, will eliminate current unbalances between the two blocs.
    Under these conditions the split of the Eurozone in two will allow both an objective convergence and a progressive elimination of current prejudices of the two blocs, allowing their political Union in the longer term, with a unique currency

  97. avatar
    João Frazão

    Well, firstly, we have to set in mind that an economic currency detached from any central banking control, enlarged fiscal system and economy related transfer of powers to Brussels is out of ground.
    The failure to deal with the 2008 crisis is representative of, exactly, that. Now, that presents us with another dilemma: the disparity between a 2 track Europe, a much more advanced North and a Med Club with lower comparative advantage production patterns.
    Even though dividing the EUR would be the most rationale policy currently, specially when thinking of a replay of Japan’s lost decade, that would push lower the relative strenght of the coin in the international markets. Something the financial elite in Frankfurt would sure not want.
    So, that leaves in a dead alley where either option generates contest. How about the fostering of a parallel economy applied only to production processes in Southern Europe: a devalued currency only available to foreign (EU non members) buyers of Southern European production markets? Even though all items within the country and EU28 members with be managed through the EUR, Portuguese, Spanish or Greece export oriented companies would have the advantage of penetrating further in foreign markets by trading under a devalued currency. Most of all, the EU could even pick which niche industries to target, so the industrial growth in those countries would be strategically applied to an European wide economic system (e.g. environmental, services related and tech companies could trade under these currency, if they belonged to the territory encompassed in the selected countries).

  98. avatar

    I think that Europe shoul be split in two.The beggining won’t be easy but we could take our desicions. The south did not develop at all from the piont of view of the working class. Austrity has been bleeding the Europen worker, in the interest of the oliguarqui.I am speakin of the 99% of the population that the European union does not interest us.That the oligarqui would get richer , without a doubt. We don’ want to be the slaves of the German bencars anymore.

  99. avatar
    Eva Benkö

    In the European Union, they have joined the superindustrialized north wih the agricultural south.The northern worker produces machines with latest technology robots and very little effort, that alowes him to produce a lot in very short time and have large incomes. You can not compare that with the southern worker that acording to Paul Krugman has to swet 7 times more , fot the same money. Is not the same thing producing cars or olive oil. The southern worker is nither lasy nor guity for having been born in the family of poorer parents. If you want to keep them in wedlock you have to share the commen goods.

  100. avatar
    Eva Benkö

    I don’t see anything that is not moderate in my comment.

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