Or the conference before the Visegrad 4 one or something like that. Lots of people earnestly talking about cooperation and Europe and stuff. Definitely the B team on display which was why I just scraped into an invite. Frances Coppolla and I did a panel, should Greece leave the euro? Which Frances has already talked about (my answer, Hell Yes, everyone should leave, it’s an idiot way to run a continent).
The interesting bit was how scary it was in fact. The groupthink is strong in this arena. There is no questioning of the goal, even if it’s not clearly delineated. That ever closer union is just assumed: how to bring it about being the only difference anyone has. I was the only truly eurosceptic person there and I wasn’t on the panel discussing eurosceptics for example (Frances is reasonable on this subject where I am not).
At one stage I pointed out that fiscal union simply was not going to happen. Europeans just are not going to allow 15-20% of GDP to be distributed through Brussels, which is what would be needed for the automatic stabilisers to operate properly so that the eurozone comes even close to being an optimal currency area. To do that really does mean German taxes paying Greek pensions.
It. Will. Not. Happen.
Not this century at least.
Everyone was shocked: how could you say such a thing? And anyway, we need to work out how to make this happen not think of why it cannot.
Labels: Culture, EU, Europe, eurozone