Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Václav Klaus on Europe's political leaders: "Their way of thinking is based on an almost communist type of reasoning"

Václav Klaus, head and shoulders above the rest

For a few weeks still there is one Head of State in Europe who is head and shoulders above the rest - the Czech Republic's Václav Klaus. 

Klaus has not hesitated to speak out about  the the failed European project as well as the senseless global warming policies (adopted by the same European leaders, who are responsible for the current European mess).

The speech which Klaus gave at the 10th International Vienna Congress com.sult 2013 yesterday should be compulsory reading for Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and all the others. Here is an excerpt:

Let´s not be misled. It is wrong when discussing the current European problems to concentrate on the individual countries, e.g. on Greece or any other country in the European South. Greece did not bring about the current European problem, Greece is the victim of the Eurozone system of one currency. The system is a problem. Greece made just one tragic error – to enter the Eurozone. Everything else was its usual behavior, which I – and we all – don´t have a right to criticize.
Greece´s degree of economic efficiency or inefficiency and its propensity to live with a sovereign debt was or should have been well-known to anyone. To let Greece leave the Eurozone – in an organized way – would be the beginning of a long journey of this country to a healthy economic future. The Greeks hopefully already understood that “one size does not fit all” and I only wish the same would be understood by leading EU politicians. I don´t see it, however.
Their way of thinking is based on an almost communist type of reasoning: economic laws do not exist, politics may dictate economics. People like me were raised in an era when such a mode of thinking was dominant in communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Some of us dared to express our disagreement with it already in the past. We were considered enemies then, we are considered enemies now.
Time is ripe for a fundamental decision: should we continue believing in the dogma that politics can dictate economics and continue defending the common currency and other similar arrangements at whatever costs or should we finally accept that we have to return to economic rationality?
The answer to such a question given by the overwhelming majority of European politicians until now has been YESwe should continue. Our task is to tell them that the consequences of such a policy will be higher and higher costs for all of us. At one moment, these costs will become intolerable and unbearable. We should say NO.
What we need are not more frequent summits in Brussels, but a fundamental transformation of our thinking and of our behaviour. Europe has to undertake a systemic change. Coming to such a decision needs a genuine political process, not the approval of a document prepared behind closed doors. It must arise as an outcome of political debates in individual EU member countries. It must be generated by the people, the “demos” of these countries.
We speak about a crisis. But crisis is – in Schumpeter’s definition (and Schumpeter belongs both to my country and to Austria) – a process of creative destruction. Not everything can be saved and maintained. Something must be destroyed or left behind in this process, especially the wrong ideas. We should get rid of utopian dreams, of irrational economic activities and of their promotion by European governments. Part of this implies that even some states must be left to fall. The opponents of such positions keep saying that such a solution would be costly. It is not true. The prolongation of the current muddling through is more costly. The costs the Europeans are afraid of are already here. They are sometimes called sunk costs.
Read the entire speech here

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