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BRITAIN’S DAILY TELEGRAPH: TOUGH CHOICES AHEAD FOR GERMANY, ...

Hold on to your hats, folks. Great Britain's Daily Torygraph...er... Daily Telegraph, has weighed in with an op-ed piece regarding the "austerity" program that Germany has been trying to impose on the so-called southern European "PIGS" nations - Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain - via the experiment in the same in Greece. The process there, as most know, has amounted to nothing less than an orchestrated looting of that country, and the result, as I indicated in last week's News and Views from the Nefarium, has been what I have called the "Thermopylae-Salamis Moment" of modern European history, as once again Greece, through its election of the Syriza government, has served up a modern-update of those two battles against the Empire of the day: Persia. Once again, Greece is resisting the Empire.

But, there are some subtle "catches" here, and they concern Germany, its relationship to the wider European "community," and some tough choices:

Germany's worst nightmare has come true

Now, the headline here is a bit disingenuous in that British sort of way of being disingenuous, not by deliberately lying, but by omitting another inconvenient truth, for the Germans were not the only ones wary of the single currency experiment. Mrs. Thatcher, during her premiership, had similar reservations and was quite vocal about them(after all, she was Mrs. Thatcher), and she wasn't alone. There was opposition to the whole scheme, even across party lines in some cases, until the feckless Mr. Major succeeded her and wrangled Britain's entry into the European "Union,"  thereby abandoning centuries of standard diplomatic practice by that nation vis-a-vis continental politics.

That said, there's a lot in this article to ponder. Consider first these thoughts:

"Germans never wanted the single currency in the first place, for like Britain, they instinctively understood where it would lead – to a fiscal, or transfer, union which Germany, as Europe’s dominant economy, would be forced to bankroll. If given a referendum, they’d have said no.

"But European monetary union was the price Germany had to pay for reunification; it was a way, other European nations naively believed, of containing the newly enlarged country and ensuring that it was properly integrated into the rest of Europe. To them, it seemed the answer to Europe's historic problem - Germany was too large and economically powerful ever to be properly defeated, but the potential threat it poses to the rest of Europe could perhaps be defused through economic integration. Most Germans, now a peace loving people, broadly go along with this "solution" to the problem. The point of dispute is rather about the degree of integration."(Emphasis added)

True enough, most Germans, as most French, Italians, Poles, Britons, are quite fed up with the idea of continental wars, but it should be recalled that the German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walther Steinmeir did give that little speech in Berlin in the past few weeks calling for a greater militarization of Germany's foreign policy. As I argued then, the German business and financial elites are growing uneasy and are wary of American ability to protect those interests. Or to put it differently, Steinmeir's remarks might be interpreted to mean that some in the higher reaches of power in that country are considering a "bolt" from the whole European mess.

That, of course, sounds absurd and radical, indeed, something not even to be considered.

Except, The Telegraph appears to be considering it:

"To buttress itself against economic pollution from the south, Germany surrounded the new currency and its institutions with safeguards. Fiscal and monetary transfers between nations were specifically banned, and rules were put in place that would supposedly ensure fiscal discipline. None of them has proved equal to the task, and none of them is ultimately compatible with a single currency that actually works.

"Since the onset of the financial crisis, Germany has suffered one defeat after another. Every line in the sand has been breached, culminating last week in the Bundesbank’s failure to block ECB money printing, a remedy which may or may not have some merit for the beleaguered economies of the south but is culturally anathema to Germans as well as largely inappropriate for their economy. It's also a money transfer by the backdoor.

"The bottom line is that the single currency hasn’t worked for anyone. It’s proved as unsatisfactory for Germany as it has for Greece, Spain and Italy."(Emphasis added)

So what's the solution? The Telegraph sees but two:

"From the start of the crisis it has been obvious to all dispassionate observers that it can only really end in two ways. Either the eurozone must move rapidly towards the sort of transfer union which Germany has spent the last 15 years resisting, or it must be reconstituted in more sustainable form – that is the monetary separation of Germany and its satellites from the less competitive south, arguably including France.

"European elites have been in a state of denial about this choice, with their response to the crisis characterised by grudging incrementalism. There are too many egos, too many careers and too much vested interest bound up in it all to admit the reality."(All emphases added)

Look at that second alternative highlighted in bold italics above very carefully, for what that effectively means is that Germany would pull out of the euro, while perhaps retaining the old "Common Market" principles of open borders with other European nations, while it returned to the Deutschmark, and continued its economic domination of the Czech republic and eastern Europe, its "satellites" as the Telegraph would have it. But that, of course, isn't in the technocratic playbook, so the Telegraph is opting for this:

"Germany as much as Greece - virtually the whole of Europe, managed to deceive itself when the euro was formed. Everyone feels bruised and wronged by the experience. To blame disciplinarian Germans is as pointless as profligate Greeks. It is half-formed monetary union which is the problem, not the wicked Germans, and it has proved a catastrophe for all involved"(Emphasis added)

In other words, the Telegraph is proffering an updated version of the Brussels line: "Just let us tinker with it a bit more, integrate more fully, and all will be well."

So for the moment, expect Berlin to go along with this plan. But the reality is not one of degree, it is one of unreality: the idea itself is to blame, not half-hearted or any other fractional-hearted implementation of the whole technocratic scheme. In the long term, in other words, the EU and the euro, are destined to unravel in the realities of different cultures and geopolitical and financial interests. And perhaps that was what was really behind Herr Steinmeir's rather stunning speech at the end of last year.

So what might one expect? Well, I suspect one may expect that the EU will seek to prevent Greece from accepting financial aid from the Russians - and thereby weaken its NATO commitments - at all costs. The Germans will have to go along with this, and continue to bankroll the southern tier. But they cannot do it forever, and this will inevitably pressure that country to take the second alternative that the Telegraph mentioned: Monetary separation of Germany and its satellites.

And that will put the French into the driver's seat of what's left, until they too are fed up with it. Which will leave the British, until... and then the Italians until...

You get the idea...

See you on the flip side.

(Thanks to Mr. S.D. for finding and sharing this one with us!)

11 thoughts on “ BRITAIN’S DAILY TELEGRAPH: TOUGH CHOICES AHEAD FOR GERMANY, ...”

  1. The two-tier/north-south proposal is nothing new, and was the most vociferous criticism of the original plan, which no one with a clear head thought would work at the time.

    The Euro is not a currency but an ideology, and the other thing that the clear-sighted have been saying recently is that it will not collapse from the bottom but from Germany walking away at the top.

    Despite what the Telegraphe says, Germany has had a good rie with the Euro and has reaped better economic and political rewards than it otherwise ever could have hoped, but that gravy train is now definitively over and the cheque has arrived and Germany is loathe to touch it, shocked by how much the bill comes to.

  2. Remember what Martin Bormann said about Germany, that it would rule by elastic political means. Well there is no doubt that Frau Merkel is the best “fence sitter” par excellence, but sooner or later the “fence” is going to get pulled down. She has to now, because of Greece, show leadership, and that means pulling the rug out from under the Anglo American rule book.

  3. Robert Barricklow

    A Big part of a nation’s sovereignty is issuing its own currency. Without that sovereign right, there is no sovereignty. So Germany should ante up into the BRICSA poker game, of an anti-polar/monoculture/ one-currency world…
    and march right into the West with the right marching orders/Reichsmarking orders[agreements in writing] with the BRICSA Banking game/side of a newly imagined geo-political chessboard.

  4. Robert Barricklow

    A Big part of a nation’s sovereignty is issuing its own currency. Without that sovereign right, there is no sovereignty. So Germany should ante up into the BRICSA poker game, of an anti-polar/monoculture/ one-currency world…
    and match right into the West with the right marching orders/Reichsmarking orders[agreements in writing] with the BRICSA Banking game/side of a newly imagined geo-political chessboard.

    1. Wasn’t it a Rothschild who said something along the lines of – give me control of a nations’ money supply and I care not who make the laws?

      1. Robert Barricklow

        Meyer, the one who screwed Napoleon and virtually everyone else. The Devil incarnate. Those rottenchilds have since propagated like cockroaches.
        They’re slaves are in the billions.
        They’re wealth; in countless trillions.

  5. I am utterly disgusted by the way european Southern countries – especially my country – Portugal- is portrayed in the anglophone media, always quick for the easy hit on the weak. The british, after 1815, are quite adept at doing this. Always ready for a good stab in the back, now like an overweight bully, but I digress…

    The “PIGS”, the “Club Med”, etc, etc…
    And then the hard working Germans and the diaphanous British that always know what is best.
    What is missing in the narrative is this:

    1st – A large market such Germany will always be more efficient due to economy of scale. Smaller markets are more exposed;

    2nd – The rich lend you €100. You buy €120 from them;

    3rd – A small country like Portugal (and led by weak, spineless, utterly corrup politicians) has to finance itself abroad with interest rates of say 5%.

    4th – Germany finances itself on the global market at 1%. Germany finances Portugal at 5%.

    5th – Large German companies (Siemens, Ferrostahl, etc) have things to sell that MUST be bought. Useless public works in Portugal help.
    The companies that build them have german investors. Portuguese political parties – have strong political ties with Germany. In fact, the political party mainly responsable for our crisis is an internationalist party founded in Germany and from there financed for more than a decade (and from the CIA also) – the Socialist Party (Partido Socialista).

    6th – Why is it that the most incompetent banking regulator in Portugal´s history (Vitor Constâncio) was made Vice-President of the European Central Bank?

    7th – Why was it that a creep like Durão Barroso was made President of the EU?

    8th – Why was it that the previous Finance Minister was made a director of the IMF?

    We, in Portugal, have a serious problem with our elites that are totally corrupt, specially since we lost our real sovereignty in 1974 and began being a shadow colony for the money lenders.

    Talking about empires, dead or upcoming: a true, old fashion empire tends to be less efficient for the Money Lenders as resources are needed to keep the empire at peace and running. It is more profitable to have a lot of “independent” countries, all run by corrupt politicians that can be cheaply bought and disposed of.

    Please excuse my rant and my poor command of the english language.

  6. Financial domination is now more advantageous than military occupation. It’s much more sustainable and stealthy than a standing army. It will be interesting to see if Greece goes the way of Iceland. My admiration for the people of Iceland knows no bounds.

    1. Very well said, Aridzonan. Portugal is still in a sort of zombie state, after decades of internationalist propaganda.
      First, it was Washington or Moscow first (or Albânia, I kid you not – ask ex-maoist Barroso), not Portugal. After that, it was Europe or Europe: the “finnish exemple”, the ” singing swedens”, the “danish model”. Never Portugal and no one ever asked us what we wanted. “Choose anything as long as it is Europe”. “Having a nation is old fashioned”: this is the meme after 1974, in Portugal, only accepted for football. But people are waking up.

  7. The tribal savages of Western Europe have never got their act together since the fall of the Roman Empire. Unlike Russia, Iran, China have never consolidated into a true nation state. They put the cart before the horse they had to get the political act together first monetary union should have been lower down the list than at the top. Their stupid tribal wars of their oligarchs have to end if they are truly to call themselves a Civilization.

  8. Given the German part in creating the mess in Portugal, Greece, Spain and Ireland, the Germans should be bankrolling some of the fix.

    The Germans bear a good deal of responsibility for the problems, and are lying about no German connection.

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