Monday, 3 October 2011

The euro and EU crisis: Bavarian CSU and Czech President get it right

Merkel should listen to the CSU - and President Klaus!

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble says that "The answer to the (euro) crisis can only be more Europe". We have been hearing similar words from Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso.

Fortunately there are also some more sane opinions - among ordinary Germans, who do not support wasting more of their money on Greece - and particularly among the representatives of  CDU´s Bavarian sister party, the CSU:

"Anyone who concludes from the debt crisis that centralized Europe needs to be strengthened is headed in the wrong direction," Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich of the CSU was quoted by the news magazine Der Spiegel as saying.

Merkel and Schäuble would be wise not to ignore the Bavarians, who represent the wealthiest and most successful region in Germany.

Read the entire article here

There is clearly a lot of wisdom coming from Central Europe. Could it be that the Bavarians have been influenced at least somewhat by the thoughts of their close neighbour, President Václav Klaus of the Chech Republic?

A couple of weeks ago Klaus offered another superb analysis of the present situation:

In the 1950s, the leading idea behind European integration was to liberalize, to open-up, to remove all kinds of barriers which existed at the borders of individual countries, to enable free movement of not only goods and services but also of people and ideas across the European continent. This was a step forward and it helped Europe significantly.
It took a different course during the 1980s and the decisive breakthrough came with the Maastricht Treaty in December 1991. Political interests to unify Europe and to create a new superpower out of it started to dominate. Integration had turned into unification, liberalization into centralization of decision making, into harmonization of rules and legislation, into the strengthening of European institutions at the expense of institutions in the member states, into the enormous growth of democratic deficit, into post-democracy. Europe’s constituting elements, the states, have been consistently, systematically and to my great regret “successfully” undermined. It was forgotten that “the state” is the only institution where real democracy is possible.
Many of us in Europe are convinced that we cannot escape from making a tough and unpleasant decision: Shall we continue ignoring the deepness and the non-accidental nature of the current European crisis (I do not mean the Eurozone debt crisis, which is only the tip of a much bigger iceberg) or shall we take, finally, and with an inexcusable delay, the European situation seriously?
I am in favor of the latter approach. The European situation deserves to be taken seriously, which is, however, not the case. The undergoing European discussions – and I am a frequent participant in many of them – continue to be based on the dangerously self-satisfying presumption that the past developments have been positive, that the problems we face are not serious and that we could go ahead with our old, only marginally modified policies.

And this is what President Klaus proposes in order to solve the present crisis:

1. We have to get rid of the sacred mantra of European politicians, which is the unproductive and paternalistic soziale Marktwirtschaft, “augmented” (which means further undermined) by the growing role of the green ideology.
2. We have to accept that the short-term economic adjustment processes take time and that the impatient politicians and governments usually make things worse. The European politicians have to give priority to the solution of problems caused by their own activities rather than try to mastermind the market and to micromanage the economy.
3. We have to prepare systemic preconditions for economic growth rather than try to accelerate growth by government stimuli and incentives.
4. We should – without any delay – prepare comprehensive reduction spending plans and forget flirting with solutions based on tax increases. Spending reductions must dominantly deal with mandatory expenditures, because discretionary spending cuts are – in the longer run – quantitatively more or less insignificant.
5. We should stop the creeping, but constantly expanding green legislation. We should stop the Greens from taking over much of our economy under the banner of such flawed ideas as the global warming doctrine.
6. We should stop the centralization, harmonization, standardization of the European continent and after half a century of such measures start decentralizing, deregulating, desubsidizing our society and economy.

Read the entire speech here

No doubt President Klaus - and also the Bavarian CSU - will be on the winning side in the end. However, because Merkel, Sarkozy and the others have invested so much politically in their version of the European project, they will fight until the bitter end in order to try to preserve their impossible dream. This will no doubt prolong the crisis and be both destructive and extremely expensive for European taxpayers.


And no doubt this speaker will also be on the winning side, when the current politically correct "leaders" have left the scene:

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