The True Cost of the Euro

Howard Croft

The euro was from its inception a vanity project, conceived and driven by Germany with the support of its vassal state, France. It is now being defended out of pride, at breathtaking cost to the whole of Europe including countries outside the Euro zone, and ultimately to the world economy if the defence fails.

The single European currency was trumpeted when it was proposed as one that would rival the American dollar as the international promissory note. Those who ignored the vital difference between the USA and European Union, namely that the US dollar enjoys the overall political authority that provides discipline, whereas in Europe there exists a political confusion that not only allowed, but provided cover for, the financial delinquency that we have seen develop, have led us into a grievous error. Indeed, so keen were the reckless parents of this lunatic scheme to recruit member states that they fudged the numbers in order to admit countries that were already delinquent, notable among them Greece. As an American economist pointed out during a radio interview at the start of this horror show, “The Greeks will never be Germans.”

As I write this, the euro crisis is gathering speed and is, as it has always been, beyond the reach of the politicians who are coming up with increasingly lunatic strategies, some involving multi-state referenda that could take a year or more to conduct. In the meantime, the markets are dictating events and we don’t have that long. By the time you read this it is possible that the euro will no longer exist, at least in its present form, so don’t buy any euros for your Easter trip to Europe – not yet anyway. In the words of the wise physician to the patient in big trouble, “Don’t buy any green bananas.”

It is no secret, in Europe anyway, that the British people have always been at best lukewarm about membership in the European Union – for many reasons going back to 1066 AD – but sort of went along with it when it was presented as a mutual trade area, not the quasi-jurisdictional, unaccountable behemoth we now see. National laws and customs are subservient to European Commission dictates, with lack of compliance punishable by huge fines enforced by European courts. The British public and others too, have become increasingly alienated by the EU Commissioners’ obsession with uniformity and conformity, which add nothing to our lives and deny the value of difference. It is, for example, illegal in the UK now to sell petrol by the gallon or sausages by the pound—but where is the gain? Under a recent European law it is forbidden to say on the packaging that bottled water re-hydrates or staves off dehydration because the bureaucrats (which is what the Commissioners are) claim there is no evidence that it is so, as if life on the planet was not evidence enough. I would be prepared to conduct an experiment myself: confine a hundred EU Commissioners in a secure facility, give water to fifty and deny it to the rest, wait sixty days and count the bodies. Ecce signum!

None of these regulations, of which there are literally thousands, is about improving life or protecting citizens – what it is about is the exercise of power and control for its own sake. It may be that the battering the euro is receiving, be it terminal or not, will lead to the return of powers to member states, a reduction in the bloated EU bureaucracy, and the abandonment of ludicrous federal ambitions so dear to the Franco-German axis. The British people are not alone in hoping so, though perhaps alone in saying so – for now. In the meantime we are subject to a regime that is as tyrannical as it is chaotic. Two member states, Greece and Italy, have had unelected politicians imposed on them, by Germany effectively: regime change, about which the EU self-righteously pontificates when denouncing the foreign policies of others, is OK just because the instrument is financial bullying and blackmail rather than force of arms. And chaos?—the auditors of the EU have not signed off on the accounts, not once, for more than a decade. Any company with such a record would have seen its directors and officers cuffed and on their way to the slammer long ago.

Remember, you read it first here – don’t buy any green bananas.