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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Fixing the Euro?

So the politicians in Brussels have come up with a package to fix the Euro debt problem. Why does my mind think of Neville Chamberlain coming down the plane steps having arrived back from his meeting with Hitler in Munich in 1938? Probably because I think this bit of paper and his have about as much chance of working.

I hope the plan works, but think it totally wrong that the good honest workers of Europe have to bail out profligate and irresponsible governments and banks. The voice of the common man will not accept this much longer. Many, but not all, citizens of Greece have made tax avoidance a way of life. In Italy corruption is still endemic. If countries cannot run their affairs properly when members of the European club then they MUST take the consequences of their (in)action. If the Greeks are allowed a haircut on their debts why not Ireland?


  1. A different emphasis here compared with your FB posting Roger. The carrot / stick balance is always a difficult call. Collective punishment of an entire country (mostly impacting 'the common man') for the greed / stupidity of a few politicians and bankers is never a good idea - the 'pain' hits the wrong place for any real 'gain' to happen and the unintended consequences always seem to come back and bite the punisher. Encouraging strong and principled leadership is best done with carrots rather than sticks.

  2. The basic issue Richard is that too much power is in the hands of the (wrong) few, be it politicians with an Eton background, investment bankers or (still) the landed gentry such as the Duke of Westminster. The same applies across Europe. My concern is this tension between these in power and the "common man" who is not empowered really in a capitalist system will result in a social shock across the continent if not the globe on a scale not unlike the communist revolution of 1917. Change IS inevitable but how it comes about is uncertain.

  3. Exactly the same reasons that I think (on balance) that a negotiated bail out is a better solution than a 'punishment' that will have a greater impact on "the common man" than the "wrong few". I think this approach helps to tip the balance for how the change comes about in favour of an empowered (and non-violent) motivation of the many through role-modelling principled leadership. Allowing a country to go bankrupt can only raise the possibility of 'social shock'. It remains to be seen whether the negotiated settlement is robust enough to survive the onslaught of the cynical and greedy few.