Roland Dürre
Sunday February 12th, 2012

EURO or NO EURO – That is the Question ?

🙂 EURO(PA) – Policy on Sunday

My poll on the EURO (or rather the results of same) – you can see it to the right – has stirred some emotions. Some of the comments I read motivate me to give my opinion on this subject a second scrutiny.

And the result is that there is probably no authority that can give reliable and valid information about the meaning of a common currency for EUROPE today (modern times 2.0?). Also, I am not sure that the EURO really is an advantage for some individual economies like Germany while being detrimental for the others. Or did the currency shared at the time by all states in the FRG “DM” favour the Free State of Bavaria while other northern states were at a disadvantage?

Moreover, I also can imagine that a tougher competition situation for Germany (without EURO) – for instance like they have in Switzerland – might be desirable. I often get the impression that we have a too easy time in Europe at the moment.

To me, both the global and the domestic economic system with their many absurdities seem too complicated to be predictable. As I see it, there is more speculation than understanding. Consequently, there is nothing I can contribute to the EURO discussion in the business dimension.

But there are several issues I am worried about:

Issue No 1:

If a country (a household, a human, a culture, …) has been living beyond is means, then it will get to pay the price sooner or later by being forced to live less pleasantly. That is probably unavoidable.

But what is “psychologically” the better thing?

If said country

a) gets the reckoning for its “misbehaviour” automatically – for example an inflation or degradation –, or if

b) they get it presented by someone who “always knows better as a matter of principle”, who then proceeds to force the appropriate “healing method” on them? Especially if the one who forces you to apply his methods seemingly lives in luxury and is perceived to only make a token effort at economizing.

🙂 Both with words and actions.

Issue No  2:

I keep hearing this as an argument in favour of the official EU policy:

The EURO must be rescued in order to rescue Europe!

By this method, the “EURO Rescuers” elevate themselves to become “EUROPE Rescuers”. Here are my counter-arguments:
We live in times of big systems collapsing. Systems that have often been linked at random against the inner wishes of the people. The USSR disintegrated into many nations. In Europe, there is no longer a Yugoslavia or a Czechoslovakia. The number of autonomous regions increases.

The development in Africa and Asia is similar. I do not know enough about Canada, the USA, Middle and Southern Europe to speak about them.

This should make us thoughtful. Is it still prudent to wish for a centralized, unified EUROPE, regardless of social and psychological resistance? Motivated by a hunger for power. Because we want to compete with the Americans and Chinese on the world stage? Does Europe really need that? And do we not, perhaps, jeopardise, even destroy the European idea with such aspirations?

Issue No 3:

Do we, with our current EURO policy, really help the people in countries such as Greece? Is it really true that this is how we can help these countries to bounce back? Or are we only helping our own banks? Thereby trying to rescue our own obsolete system? So this would be a sort of “Rescue Lie” after the “Retirement Money Lie“!

🙂 Issue No  4:

If I interpret our Bavarian Government correctly, Germany would long ago have been bankrupt without Bavaria. On the IT summit, I personally heard our Prime Minister Horst Seehofer say that “Bavaria already owns all of Germany, anyway”, (because of the inter-state financial help). I am sure he meant it as a joke. But then, this would mean:

Bavaria rescues Germany.
Germany rescues EUROPE.
If we follow logically, we get:
Bavaria rescues EUROPE.

Of course, this is only true if “rescuing” is a “transitive relation”. It is just as absurd to assume Bavaria could save Europe as it would be for Bavaria to conquer Europe in the military sense. Besides, the world will not heal through Bavarian zeal …

Conclusion:

On re-reading my “issues”, I get more and more convinced that what we need is a EUROPE of regions and cultures where the individual peoples live side by side enjoying democracy and liberty in a multitude and where the individual nations appreciate and like each other.

What I would not wish to have is a centrally governed EUROPE where the central taskmaster reigns and the NORTH believes it can teach the SOUTH how it all should work.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
They already start writing and speaking about the EURO zone. For example yesterday in the Welt. Nomen est omen

1 Kommentar zu “EURO or NO EURO – That is the Question ?”

  1. Chris Wood (Sunday February 12th, 2012)

    I can well understand that somebody who has not lived outside Bavaria feels suspicious about German unity and even more so about the European Union. These foreigners speak a different dialect, or even a different language! Truth to tell, the “Franken” and “Schwaben” are a bit suspect to one like me who has lived half his life round Munich.
    Fragmentation has the advantage that the people in each small country are forced to manage alone as best they can. When things go wrong, they cannot well say that the Germans are to blame, (unless they have recently been invaded). But let’s admit that we still live in a world where largely might is right. There was military intervention in Libya and before then in a weakened Iraq, but other nasty states are too powerful for such treatment. One may think that Europe no longer needs to worry about being attacked, but commercial attack is still relevant. When a European court convicts a big American company of unfair business practices, even the Americans take notice. I believe that a similar decision by a Bavarian court would be less respected.
    Of course the European Commission has made some mistakes. I judge their work generally positively, but one cannot be sure. However I can see that the European Union was set up because politicians believed that was good. They could have got more votes by appealing to popular dislike of foreigners. I believe one should support the politicians in the unusual cases where they avoid populism.

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