After reading Protesilaos Stavrou‘s post on Bundesbank and Target 2 and the recommended readings I was left with this daunting idea that as a matter of fact there is no difference between the quarrels and tribulations of the debate on the budget and the apparent fractures within the Eurozone. Although the scale is slightly different, and we are not talking of the same lot of participating countries, the issues seem to be quite the same. And i will explain myself – everybody wants more for themselves and are less interested in the welfare and progress of the EU.
This economic crisis that does not seem to come to an end has turned up a certain level of protectionism in all member states. The European project seems to have been postponed for most, and public polls show that EU issues have fallen out of favor with EU citizens. Rhetoric and nationalistic ideals and themes have been brought up to offer a sort of mental blanket to “help” the people of Europe cope with the downgrade on their lifestyle. But as with all such endeavors its not the public that wins, but the politicians.
Returning to the Eurozone issue, it seems to me that no one wants to leave the eurozone, and no one wants somebody else to leave the eurozone. But, on the other hand, no one wants to pay the inherent costs of being part of the Eurozone – every body seems to be playing the bluff and calling on the others to pay the costs or else! But that is inherently stupid, because in the end best case scenario everybody pays for everybody else - thus nobody escapes payment.
Germany leaving the Eurozone for example is the worst case scenario for most of the countries within. Imagine what would happen with Greece or Spain and their current financial conundrums should Germany forfeit the Euro. But on the other hand i think that Germany is “sorta, kinda” pushing a counter bluff, relying mostly on soft power and non-official channels so that the more “subversive” of the members understand that this game is not limited to them. There is a saying in Romanian, “bate calul să priceapă iapa”, translated as “beating the horse so the mare gets it [the point]” that applies to this issue.
It is however sad that we have reached this point. The European project has always been based on free association – nobody was forced. Now it seems that some of the member states would like an exit, but on the other hand would not assume the costs. And some member states argue that they are being forced into doing this or that. And everybody wants their piece of the pie to be the biggest, the most perfectly cut and if possible no one else should get any cake. It’s not what it’s supposed to be.
In more ways than one it seems to me that we are loosing sight of the EU goals, and much more than that, we are breathing in more of the poisonous air of self-sufficiency than ever – see Cameron’s latest address on UK exit. It seems to me that we are becoming ill of shortsightedness. And we’ll be stuck with this bill, all of us. Whatever we decide to do it’s us, regular citizens like you and me, that will pay the costs of whatever we decide to do in the future. So the question remains: do we build a home or do we build bunkers?