Err, no

Germany to set the terms for saving the euro


Germany\’s set the terms for what it thinks will save the euro, what it hopes will save the euro.

But whether it will save the euro isn\’t in Germany\’s, or any politicians\’, hands. It\’s all of us, in our interactions in hte markets, that will decide that.

And this is a bit of a death knell for that democracy thing, isn\’t it?

\”The debt brakes will be binding and valid forever,\” said Merkel.

\”Never will you be able to change them through a parliamentary majority.\”

I\’m not particularly enamoured of politicians borrowing and spending like drunken sailors. But the idea that a German politician can tell the Poles not to spend their children\’s inheritance does rather grate.

12 thoughts on “Err, no”

  1. The choices that future people can democratically make are rather limited if their grandparents have mortgaged them.

  2. Whether it is actually going to work or not aside …

    obliges all eurozone countries to introduce binding legislation or constitutional amendments abolishing governments’ rights to run up excessive levels of national debt.

    Okay – so this wouldn’t work in the UK. One Parliament cannot trivially bind another (although, as we’ve seen with the Lord Chancellor mess, it can require more than mere whim to unwind some long-standing arrangements). Some countries, Germany, clearly have binding constitutions (hence it being the German constitutional court that was the critical ruling on much of the euro bail-out.)

    What about the other members? Where do they stand on this quasi-“permanently binding” thing?

    Because, as it seems to me, any mechanism that allows you to amend the constitution one way allows you to un- or re- amend it, even though there might be other consequences (i.e. we could withdraw from ECHR but we’d have to leave the CoE and the EU as well.)

    The French, for example, ripping up their constitution pretty-much-entirely ten times (I think, I may just have run out of fingers) since they were particularly revolting to the Bourbons.

  3. You should also remember there is a very unusual conjunction of the political cycles of the European nations. Nearly every one is governered by the centre right. They will all be burdened with the legacy of socialist predecessors, and they will all want to tie the hands of future centre-left governments in their own country.
    Merkel and Sarkozy, and all the others are not in competition, apart from a game of one-upmanship, but fellow travellers, like pygmy versions of Ronnie and Maggie, if you like.
    Despite the attention we give them, these EU meetings are just welcome diversions from domestic issues for these pols.

  4. “rights to run up excessive levels of national debt.”

    Key word: excessive. It will mean whatever the pols want it to mean.

    Anyway, the Left have got themselves into a lovely tangle. They are obliged as good Europeans to support this, but it stops their beloved deficit splurges.

    More proof for my theory that the British Left is defined mostly by simple reflexive opposition to the Right, rather than a coherent set of beliefs.

  5. All govts spend beyond their thievings (sooner or later).The fat stasi cow is dreaming if she thinks this load of bollocks will stop that.

  6. @Rob – your views chime with mine; for all that right-wingers are portrayed as hate-filled fountains of bile just mention Thatcher to a Labour voter and wait for the genuine hatred to come poruing out

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