Friday, November 4, 2011

Euro orthodoxy and Euro heresy

At Presseurop, Michael Fleischhacker of Austrian daily Die Presse praises those daring to challenge the European elites:
Heresies have arisen at all times by asking questions. To question means to doubt, and doubt is the poison of orthodoxy.
What do the United Commentators from Europe want to tell us when they declare with deep indignation that a “No” from the Greeks to the resolutions of the Brussels Congress would have “unforeseeable consequences”?
Do they somehow mean to contend that the consequences of the previously adopted “measures” were foreseeable? Has this past year delivered even a single clue that this is the case?
And why should a country's citizens not be allowed to vote on measures that add up to a substantial limitation of their state sovereignty? Is it their fault that they don’t understand what it’s about, or is it the fault of those who can’t explain it to them?
And is it not true that they can’t explain it because they don’t understand it themselves? And why should they decide, though they understand it no better than those who are not permitted to decide?
The Telegraph puts things more bluntly:
It should surprise no one that George Papandreou’s proposal for a national referendum on the latest European bail-out deal should have lasted just 72 hours before being bulldozed into oblivion by the Germans and French. Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy made not the slightest attempt to observe any diplomatic niceties as they turned their fire on this troublesome outbreak of democracy. The Greek referendum must not be allowed to happen, they insisted – and lo, it will not. It was brutal to watch.
 Welcome to the new Europe. It is now generally accepted that the move towards fiscal as well as monetary union is the only feasible way in which the single currency can be made to work. Yet it will mean such bullying becomes the norm, since national sovereignty will routinely have to play second fiddle to the diktats not only of the European Central Bank, but also of a central European Treasury, whose creation can now only be a matter of time. Both will, of course, be dominated by the monetary union’s pre-eminent economy, Germany.
It's enough to make you nostalgic for the days when the EU at least allowed referendums to take place, and simply ignored the results. 

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