REVEALED: MERKEL & SCHAUBLE EYEING SWEEPING CHANGES TO GERMAN CONSTITUTION

Berlin allies set to steamroller EU members into United States of Europe.

Blurred vision at the centre of a storm

New article in Der Spiegel vindicates Slog sources, highlights Berlin game-plan

In a major Spiegel scoop yesterday, the influential German magazine/paper/site revealed that German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble is a driving force behind the acceleration in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s plans to run towards EU fiscal and political union. As The Slog has maintained for some time, the two political allies see this as the best way to ensure the EU’s survival. But the evidence suggests that the plan is fraught with danger for everyone.

One thing above all Angela Merkel has proved over the last few days is just how much you can get done when everyone in the boat is rowing the same way. Goforit Geli kicked off on Monday with a rousing speech about how the cure for a failed idea is more of it, and by 4 pm Tuesday she’d persuaded her loyal CDU doubters to arrange for other people’s countries to leave the eurozone….but no pressure on them to do so, mind: it would be sort of like, you know – voluntary euthanasia. Strictly not obligatory…not like new Prime Ministers and cancelled referendums and the like.

Now – if you go to Spiegel online (thanks yet again to a Slog threader for pointing this out – I’d missed it) – you’ll read a fascinating piece about how Merkel the Magician has her beady eye on the German constitution. “We have one of the best constitutions in the world,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel once said. Mind you, in 2009 she also said the euro was one of the world’s most stable currencies – but rhetoric is everything in contemporary politics.

Except of course that, as always, Wolfgang Schauble – the man sometimes called ‘the ether’ by BundesRepublik politicians – is the eminence grise steering the Chancellor towards his long-held goal.

Cast your minds back now to March 2010, when the Slog first revealed via a Berlin source that ‘Schauble supported the idea of an ‘EMF’ to aid members in especially dire straits. The conditions for help, however, would effectively be a dictation of financial terms to that Sovereign State….’. This was the first time that source had said to me, “Herr Schauble is a man with very big ideas for the EU”. It was not a compliment.

Move on then to February this year, when the same insider told The Slog, “Wolfgang Schauble was reported to have been ‘shocked’ ealier in the week when he debriefed the CDU on increasing German guarantees to the ESM, and received a wave of howls and hostile questions for his pains…”

That was the point at which Wolfie realised democratic politics were going to get in the way of his master plan. This ‘projekt’ has never varied: he is and always was an integrationist hawk. Ever since that mauling, Wolfgang Schauble has remained a quiet persuader of the people who count. Within six months, he had won an initially reluctant Merkel over to fast-tracking the fiscal union as he only way of avoiding the EU’s complete collapse. “He is the most slippery man in German politics” said my Frankfurt Mole last weekend.

By August, the German finance minister had secretly convinced Merkel that Greece would default – and might even be able to do so in an EU being strongly run from one central point. But as The Slog again revealed last September, ‘front-of-house’ he was busy reassuring CDU bigwigs that Germany “would cut the rope” on Greece if it fell behind further. It fell behind twice (including one review that became an unreview in classic Orwellian fashion) but Athens still got the 8bn euro tranche Schauble had promised everyone it wouldn’t. At the time I concluded, ‘it has been clear to most observers for nearly a year now that this is a game for 27 players in a talking shop, and then the Germans win’.

September 11th saw Germany’s financial boss driving the EFSF fund to keep ezone members from collapsing…..once again, in direct contradiction of what he was telling CDU leaders. The Slog revealed that ‘At the emergency crisis summit in late July, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) was lined up to be given further power and more imaginative approaches to the supply of emergency credit lines to debtors in distress. The Schäuble plan would keep credit coming from the fund (for Italy and Spain) assuming those and other countries were unable to borrow following a Greek collapse….’

In the days before Zen bazookas were invented, this was big news. Most of the mainstream media ignored it. But from this quiet Schauble initiative grew the EFSF leverage plan using Tim Geithner as the salesman. (See America bets the farm on Germany). Geithner played this role to a tee in Wroclaw, but his refusal to stump any money up also taught German’s finance minister a harsh lesson about hard-headed Americans. The Slog’s Bankfurt mole confirmed this at the time,  and I reported – ‘I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the overwhelming eurocrat and media expectation was that the Federal Treasury Secretary was going to bring a bag of dosh with him. Certainly, Wolfgang Schauble thought so: afterwards, bewildered Austrian delegate Maria Fekter said that Herr Schauble had called openly for the US to participate in the bail-out fund, but Tim Geithner had “ruled it out emphatically”….’

Just how reliable these two key German sources have been is supported by the Spiegel article from yesterday:

‘It was three quarters of a year ago that German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble reportedly took the chancellor aside and explained to her that the euro crisis could not be resolved with spur-of-the-moment policies. He told the chancellor that he was in favour of using the crisis to advance Europe’s political unity….resolutions made [at the upcoming CDU Party conference] will not be empty words. Instead, Merkel and Schäuble want them to serve as a foundation of a two-stage plan to reform the EU. As a first step, they want to amend EU treaties to allow notorious debtors in the euro zone to be placed under mandatory supervision by Brussels…..The Chancellery wants this aspect of the EU reform approved as quickly as possible. Merkel wants to show the financial markets that Europe has the strength to push through sweeping changes. Internally, Merkel’s staff expect that the EU reform convention will complete its work by the end of next year, a view shared by CDU parliamentary floor leader Volker Kauder.

‘As a second step, Merkel and Schäuble want the EU to move towards becoming a political union. This entails transferring more sovereign rights to the EU — and it would mean amending Germany’s constitution….According to this scenario, the Germans would drop the ‘Basic Law’ [created after the Nazi collapse] and embrace a totally new constitution.’

Wolfgang Schauble’s strategy has been to wait patiently for things to get worse and worse, while all the time working behind the scenes to ensure everything would be in place. The result is that he and Chancellor Merkel are getting laws through the Bundestag they could never even have contemplated six months ago. The Spiegel article concludes as follows:

‘Schäuble believes that a national referendum on the German constitution would be an essential step in reforming the EU — and with good reason, since the constitutional judges in Karlsruhe have now made it clear on a number of occasions that the constitution leaves little leeway to relinquish more power to Brussels.’

——————————————————–

The reality here is that this accelerating rush towards political and fiscal integration is madness on a number of levels.

First and foremost, there are divisions at every level of German culture about the idea – if there wasn’t, Schauble could’ve been far more open. The Bavarian sister Party to the CDU won’t go along with it…and without the referendum referred to above, neither would the judiciary.

In the banking community, the German central bank’s boss doesn’t trust Schauble. Some bankers agree with the plan, others are doubtful. I won’t be able to contact the Slog’s Bankfurt Maulwurf now until Friday, but it’ll be interesting to see where he sits on this.

Second, we have to ask, “Why is this being done?” And the short answer is ‘for all the wrong reasons’. It is a hasty, cobbled-together steamroller being used, not to logically further an end of a unified, content Europe, but to satisfy the neurotic lending markets and other financial interests who – as always – want stability and guarantees at all costs. A rule of life for me (and history supports it again and again) is that half-baked plans towards one end while focused on tactical means will always come to grief. The question of what to do with France, for instance – give it Division 2 to run? – remains unaddressed.

Third, and above all – as I tried to articulate yesterday – the German plan is rank bad science. Merkel is a physicist and Schauble is a bean-counting mathematician, but they don’t get people – and they don’t understand cultural anthropology. Technicians never do. As I have insisted over and over again, these are not power-mad Nazis creating GrossDeutscherReich II – even if my sarcasm at times would suggest that to a literal mind. They are intelligent, blinkered idiots unable to see that the inevitable result of this path will be a German-dominated Europe. (Which is, of course, exactly what the US desires).

Effectively, what Berlin – with Brussels’ willing help – has decided is that settled markets, the banking system, and a stable EU are more important than the rule of law, individual liberty, sovereign nation status, and a democratic voice for the citizens.

What a profoundly obscene irony that is, given recent German history. And what a victory for Money. We must all hope that opposition to it will be forthcoming from every quarter.

From last July: Why van Rompuy is Berlin’s Man in Brussels

 

94 thoughts on “REVEALED: MERKEL & SCHAUBLE EYEING SWEEPING CHANGES TO GERMAN CONSTITUTION

    • Mary
      Follow the link to US bets farm on Germany in the piece.
      It’s not that the Americans WANT German domination, it’s that they know in business terms this is best for them: without Berlin’s determination, the EU will fail. And of the EU fails, the US will go bust in 2015 rather than (say) 2035.
      Also they know France is about to be a basket-case..and will elect a left-wing President next year.
      On the whole, the US Foreign service and the Fed don’t do left-wing. This explains why many suspect the US as having spiked DSK’s election chances with the NY arrest. (Although myself, I have doubts about that).

  1. John “but they don’t get people – and they don’t understand cultural anthropology”. What is your evidence for this?

    What are the pros and cons of a German dominated Europe?

    (I think when you use that phrase it needs a lot of detailed explanation – for example Germany already dominates Europe from an economic, manufacturing and population perspective). I suspect you are hinting at something deeper and darker…….

    Personally, I think it would be great – and definitely have the World Cup there more often as it is so well organised :-)

    • Cronshd
      The observation is nothing to do with nationality. Having worked with client technicians and accountants over 4 decades, I can tell you – the one thing they truly cannot handle is people.

      • @JW, Cronshd

        “Nothing to do with nationality” is an interesting feature of private banking institutions as well; their activities seem pretty well the same across the planet – and your mentioning this leads me to post my usual comment of regulating these nasty beasts. It would not affect the Italians or Greeks – and whilst not helping them out of the mess they are in, would at least help them stay a little (ha, ha!) more afloat (sinking that little bit slower than they did before).

  2. What astounds me, is, that there seems to be little or no opposition to Germany’s plans from other nations, is Spain, Portugal for example happy with this, have they been asked, or just informed that they must comply?
    How have we arrived here? I feel like Rip Van Winkle, I fell asleep and missed the change from democracy to dictatorship..

    • Being a client state has upsides and downsides. Right now, the populations of such states in the EZ are, shall we say, a little preoccupied.

    • Most countries in Europe weren’t democracies until after WWII. some much later than that (modern Greece not until the 70s). Most countries in Europe had democracy forced upon them by the Americans.

      They really aren’t as wedded to the idea as us Brits and it is this fact that us Brits constantly struggle with (as do the Americans). Their preference is for a Napoleonic state

  3. Excellent Research! I cannot see how this can proceed because there is no funding for such a conglomeration. The debt clock is running swiftly. It is difficult to believe that Germany can fund, organize and get this obtuse cluster in operational shape. German citizens will not stand for this.

    In the US, we want to run this process in reverse and kick out California, Massachusetts, Illinois and New York.

    • Ryck – but they’re some of the best bits – well not Illinois maybe :)

      “It is difficult to believe that Germany can fund, organize and get this obtuse cluster in operational shape”

      I think Germany is one of two countries with experience at this sort of thing, the other being Vietnam. But its a big step up from joining 2 halves of the same cat to herding 30 cats into a lion. Obviously if the cats don’t want to play then the games up and maybe over.

      Also depends how much Papa Bear WallWash wants to help Mama Bear BerFurt. If it doesn’t lend a hand, then PandaBear might do for Europe what its doing for Africa – buy what they don’t already own.

    • Ryck –
      You have it in one: this is a race against time…in the hope it’ll all be over before the proles notice.
      Opposition to a USE is huge thro-out Germany, because they quite clearly see this as meaning they’ll have to pick up the tab.

  4. “As I have insisted over and over again, these are not power-mad Nazis creating GrossDeutscherReich II – even if my sarcasm at times would suggest that to a literal mind. They are intelligent, blinkered idiots unable to see that the inevitable result of this path will be a German-dominated Europe.”

    Merky & Baubles might not be the new Nazis, but most fascists are not. The actions taking place certainly positions them both as fascists. I cannot see Britain agreeing to major treaty changes whether they only apply to E-zone members or the whole EU.

    • @BT…assuming we actually HAVE any say! Seems to me that it’s all a done deal under cover, and the proles will all wake up one day soon to find that life ‘is no longer as they knew it’. Having recently read 1984, I am finding that my toilet roll bill is climbing! It’s SOO scary that so many peole are seemingly sleepwalking into this- is everyone on Prozac?

      • Joanna – its not been done under cover – in fact I think Wolfie and Angele have been surprisingly forthcoming. The fact the sheeple’s are schlafen is because its in the foreign print media, and most sheeples only consume local audio visual media.

        Whether Britain will have a say is moot – if it wont agree to the Treaty changes then Merkel will probbly offer a graceful exit – perhaps into EFTA. assuming EFTA wants us. Here is a document defining the relationship between the EU and EFTA (Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland) and Switzerland. http://europedia.moussis.eu/books/Book_2/7/25/01/

      • The safeguard we have in Britain is that Cameron has passed a law requiring any future EU Treaty changes to be voted upon by the people.
        And if any treaty change proposed more centralisation of powers into the Brussels fascist HQ involving political/fiscal integration, it would not be supported. Of course he might bypass that but I think he’d then have a big problem with many of his own backbenchers let alone the electorate.

      • I should of added that the Merky/Bauble changes might only be asked of the 17 E-zone members but such changes would affect the full 27 countries, so the UK and others can insist on having a say in the process…

      • Joanna
        I agree…they will find a mechanism whereby they can ignore us.
        NB Merkel in 2010 to Sarkozy: “To hell with the British…in the end they will come round and if not, we don’t need them”.

    • I have to confess, I can see Cameron somehow bypassing a referendum and just agreeing to do whatever is asked of him.
      It’s the repercussions of such an action that is more worrying.

  5. Can they pass a law in Germany that will let the ECB print money ? If they cannot then closer integration will not change a thing . The cleanest solution is for Germany , Holland and Finland to leave the Euro . That way it devalues to parity withe the dollar ( or possibly lower ) , and we can start to pick up the pieces .

    • @Bond Trader – if it needs a constitutional change then tricky stuff requires 2/3 majority of both chambers

      My assumption is that Ger/Ned/Fin/Aut into the Thaler would be Plan B.

      Still leaves the basic problem of how do stronger euro states (eg Poland one day) prop up weaker states (eg Macedonia another day) without fiscal and transfer unions. Can’t keep kicking the can down the road, at some stage you have to bite the bullet.

      • @ Bond Trader and Right Paddock
        I spent much of last night reading the Süddeutscher Zeitung with its rather remarkable interview with one of Merkel’s advisors (find it here, sorry, it is in German http://bit.ly/uGCZTA ) – and whilst the idea is certainly being mooted, it is not finding favour because of the likely sharp rise in the value of the new currency vis-a-vis the euro.

        To my mind the higher value of the new currency would not be problematic, but the suddenness of it would be. That in itself could send an economic shock wave across the planet.

        It can still be done; but it would take some real courage and the sort of planning that the Germans are good at.

  6. This is the stuff revolutions are made of? Maybe not in Germany as they would essentially be running the show (assuming that Schauble et. al. could push this through). But if you had a bunch of technocrats/puppets in Italy, Spain, Portugal, etc., push to put their respective countries under EU/German dictates, this might cause quite a backlash.

  7. As we’ve come to expect from you JW, you are always ahead of the game with your predictions and rationale. I applaud your diligence. Whether everyone agrees with you or not is irrelevant. From the standpoint of research, resources and the skill required in the presentation of your analysis remains unparalleled.

  8. Anthony Sampson wrote a brilliant book(‘The sovereign state of ITT) about Harold Gineen’s creation of a huge,corrupt and ultimately failed conglomerate,with which I brushed many years ago.Hundreds of unrelated subsidiaries,in 80 countries,borrowings out of control,etc,European HQ,Brussels .He once said,’The only unforgivable sin in business is to run out of cash .I wonder if that would ring any bells with Merkel!

    • I also had a lot of dealings with ITT in the halcyon days and was aware that it had subsidiaries around the world which were conduits for CIA funding…and I had little doubt that some of its high command were CIA operatives.

  9. Criteria:
    TRANSPARENCY is the key word and criteria for the EU
    especially because of its amorphous constituency.

    Conclusion:
    Further integration of the EU should be considered only after the abolition of Wall-street in the USA and of the City of London in the mainland UK.

    Explanation:
    Further integration at this stage needs be considered according to how much transparency it is going to add or to remove:
    On the one hand it may render the member states more transparent to
    the EU HQ e.g. in Brussels, which in turn are inherently obscure to the public.
    On the other hand it will make the member states quite obscure to their own ‘subjects’ if to borrow an English term.

    • “Conclusion:
      Further integration of the EU should be considered only after the abolition of Wall-street in the USA and of the City of London in the mainland UK.”

      The EU Tobin Tax that EU-Crat In Chief Barroso never stops blathering about and the scarcely commented upon EU plan that all Euro clearing transactions must go through the ECB (currently mostly thru London) is indeed an attempt to destroy the City of London, or abolish it as you say.

      I’m not sure the EU fascists will have quite the same luck with destroying Wall Street. A few carefully aimed cruise missiles will deal with them :-)

      • …but then actually, the best way to liberate Europe from Wall-Street occupation is to let any of its sovereign entities print in to existence enough currency in order to avoid nation wide shortages, the kind which inflates prices and interest rates and chokes private enterprise, which then leads to ever more borrowing till it all defaults and is confiscated by Wall-Street.
        Thus when there’s a single currency there must be a single economic government. The remaining problem is the ECB itself has been in the hands of private banks – unless of course those banks are allowed to fail and thus be confiscated by the states, aka nationalized. Thus perhaps the depleted position in to which the private banks have maneuvered themselves allows the EU to set up a Lone Economic Government (LEG?) with the intention of letting the big private banks default and then to confiscate them
        from a supra-national position. The LEG will also allow to legislate an Eurozone-wide 10-years length betterment tax like the one which has been preventing a real-estate bubble in Germany since year 1999.

      • BT – As I read what John wrote, he’s suggesting that the US Administration backs this plan, to some degree at least. Perhaps Washington sees an advantage in having the European financial centre at the heart of Europe rather than on the periphery. The EU might be getting some help from Washington in its goal of knocking off The City. Even Barosso is not silly enough to “attack” Wall St.

      • @Right Paddock: Maybe.But I was responding to Netzer’s comments about The City & Wall Street.

        I dunno how much Washington is involved in this pantomime.
        EU market trading centered in Frankfurt? Maybe. The only thing it surely does want is to retain the USD as the major global currency. That implies it wants the Euro to stick around but in the shadows…Of course one also has to factor in that Obamarama is a socialist, so he might not like the UK as much as previous presidents.

    • The EU may end up like CIS
      ———————————-
      If Germany sets up a bloc of responsible countries around it,
      i.e. Germanic + the northern Slavic buffer-states,
      under a Lone Economic Government (LEG),
      then it would be to the EU like the Russian federation is to the CIS.
      Perhaps the Poles will be silly enough to stay outside on their own will.

  10. John,

    Wolfie has done everyone a valuable service. He’s the first politician in a very long time to re-articulate the core objective of the project. A single sovereign nation state (USE) comprising 30 odd provincial states (former nation states). I think Powell might have spelt it out in 1975, but he was batting for the “wrong” side at the time. I should look for what he wrote & said from that time.

    I learnt the other day that Powell taught at Sydney University for a while in the ’30s. If only there was someone of his intellectual calibre now.

    I’m not sure whether you object to the projects goal (1990 Re-Unification on Steroids) or Wolfie’s means of getting there. I like Wolfie because he been doing something – which is more than you can say for

    I’m wondering if you might build an allegory around Dante’s Inferno. With Murky Angel as Beatrice. Purgatory being “mandatory supervision by Brussels”

    Stick with program – RP

  11. To suggest that the “plan” is half-backed and a knee jerk reaction is a little thin if your timelines of 18 months gone and 14 months in the future is accepted. To suggets that the “sovereign” states will overule is agian harking back to the summer days of the 1940’s.

    The EU is already the largest lawmaker. There are, as you suggest, historic state legislations to be “tidied up” but that is called progress or change.

    Get aboard now is my advice, rather than sulking nostalgically around the edge.

    • @Stephenroi: We must keep a eye on this…

      I love this piece:
      “In case of Schäffler’s success at the referendum, Germany may thus be plunged into political chaos over the Christmas break. This could potentially paralyse policy-making at a time when the euro crisis is finally spiralling out of control.”

      Wonderful …bring it on :-)

  12. @Liz – Can you explain what exactly JW has predicted in this piece.

    I would like to know what predictions have been made and then have a wager on whatever it is that is being predicted……….! (For charity as usual).

  13. Fascinating. Merkel against the markets. Iceland is being shafted again,by the vulture funds,only this time,its the original debtors,the sharks are attacking,having bought their debts,for pennies in the pound. Poland is downgraded,and Italian yields are over 7% again. This is what Merkel is up against. Is she quick witted enough to beat the market boys,or are their computers going to win. Listen to another episode of Dick Barton,special agent tomorrow.

  14. @Stephenroi,17 December,2011 is now in my diary(as well as Merkel’s).Meantime,those pesky 10 year govt bond yields are now (yesterday):France 3.65(3.43),Spain 6.34(6.10),Italy7.00(6.74).When the money runs out…

  15. Having read some of the articles about Merkel’s plan it seems to be greater integration except for tax, fiscal and transfer policy (yet…). If I was being cynical I might think that this was for German voter consumption. All this is very good but we really are sleep walking into a non-democratic state. How about some proposals for voting for the Commissars – sorry Commissioners? But also interesting to see if German rules are acceptable to everyone else? Maybe they are still working on the Plan B.

    Reading der Speigel I picked up a very strong inference that as the Greeks (no one else) had broken the “rules” the must pay. On the assumption that Germany has endless loot (it does not – see the figures) and is willing to disperse its bounty as long as fiscal and monetary rules are “obeyed” – then all is well. Problem solved. Feckless elected showmen will be replaced by technocrats. I wouldn’t trust a single one of these EU placemen to run a whelk stall never mind an economy. However they will be granted immunity from prosecution (and elections) so maybe they may get the hang of it all after 10 or 20 years or so.

    • “How about some proposals for voting for the Commissars – sorry Commissioners?”

      I’m sure Wolfie has mapped out a bright future for the EU Commission – such as permanent storage in a nuclear waste dump.

      Its inconceivable that the USE would not have an elected executive and a bi-cameral legislature. Apart from Brussels incumbents no one would object to that – and Paris, who’ve gotten most from the Brussels Sprout Diktatorship.

      Please post any info you find – you can be assured I will

  16. Why is everyone so concerned about a technocracy? Bring it on I say. Take a look at Singapore – they seem to be doing fine.

    As long as yo get the skilled people in place – they will do the right/most effective things and consider the long term. In Singapore you have to be the best in your field to (say) be in charge of the water system.

    If we really went for low level democracy as some are implying, then we would end up with capital punishment.

    • Democracy is the only thing that gives government any legitimacy. You may be happy to hand limitless power over to an elite and lose all control of your country, I am not.

      • Precisely. It may sound OK putting a skilled person into a job for the good of the Country – but – how does the Country vote them out of office when things go wrong?
        No! I wouldn’t be happy either.

    • I know a little about Singapore having lived & worked there for a number of years. Its success as you say lies in the fact that its a meritocracy. But that’s based on based on 2600 years of Confucian ethic – its not portable to anything other than to another Confucian society, i.e. China

      A crucial factor was Lee Kwan Yew – one of the worlds few benevolent dictators. Its economy is Marxist-Capitalist Lite, whilst China’s is Marxist-Capitalist Regular.

      As a place to live, well its a tiny island from which its easy to escape to the fleshpots of other Asian states. A good Monday morning to Friday evening place.

  17. How can anyone be surprised that Germany or any member of the Eurozone wants more of the same leading to political and economic union and stabilisation of the Eurozone. This is just a step on the way helped by what they call a beneficial crisis (that we think is the collapse of the Eurozone).

    This from Barroso on 9 November in answer to a question by Nick Robinson of the BBC.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9634000/9634878.stm

    The aim is to bring all EU members into the Zone including the UK.

    • The waste of space Barroso is a totally unelected apparatchik of the EU and in my book has no brief to pontificate about who should and shouldn’t be in the E-zone. He should keep his mouth shut.

      • The EU Commission of which he is president sets the agenda for the running of the EU. He is appointed by the representatives of the nation states usually by way of the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers as a forum was not something that the founding fathers of the EU wanted, as the whole point of the EU is to do away with the nation states and work towards a pan European government with all powers stripped from national governments. This is why we have regional assemblies in all parts of Europe. Ours in the UK exist, but do not yet have the powers of local government. They are the basis of the Europe of the Regions.
        You will not get our politicians telling you of the grand plan for Europe. It is all part of the deception. First there was the common market, and then there was the single market. Then they came with the European Exchange Rate Mechanism followed by the Maastricht Treaty. On the next step they over-reached themselves and had a monetary union before the political and economic union. (Sounds a bit like a poem or something I read in German somewhere). This has brought about the current crisis which is causing so much angst in Germany, and civil strife in Greece. To the leaders of Europe this is a beneficial crisis that will lead to economic and political union of the Euro zone and then the nine outside members will be obliged to join when conditions are right. The UK has an opt-out written into the Lisbon Treaty, but as we have seen with Maastricht with the Social Chapter and the Working Time Directive, the opt-outs are worthless.
        The British government has gone along with every proposal for the deeper integration of the EU eventually. Cameron is still trying to con us that he can repatriate powers as a quid pro quo for letting them have their Treaty changes. As Barroso says in his answer to Robinson he would need the other 26 states to agree to opt outs for the UK. This they will not allow and Cameron or his advisors must know this, yet he still insists that he can repatriate powers from Brussels.
        The more you know about the EU, the more you realize how duplicitous our own politicians are. Barroso is a beacon of honesty compared to our shits in Westminster.

      • @BT on this we’re in furious agreement.

        I find it hard to believe that the new USE will have a place for Barosso & Co. It will be downsized via decapitation and be turned into a regular Civil Public Service but hopefully without the Sir Humphrey tradition of Whitehall.

  18. I wonder, and this is having read the article and comments – this business of allowing nations to leave the Lisbon Treaty: could it not work the other way around, and let Germany et al out, whilst the others stay in?

    Wolfie, as you casually call this dangerous accounting machine, may be being given some meat through the fence to keep him quiet whilst someone else is snipping a hole?

    • Gem,
      “Wolfie, as you casually call this dangerous accounting machine, may be being given some meat through the fence to keep him quiet whilst someone else is snipping a hole?”

      Can you expand please?

    • Gem
      Sensible comment, for which I thank you. The trouble is, common sense has left the building.
      My feeling is that Merkelauble is engaged in a race against time on two fronts:
      1. Before the markets lose any remaining faith in the EU, and
      2. Before the German people realise what they’re signing up for.
      There’s a twist in this tale, about which I will be posting soon.

      • “Before the German people realise what they’re signing up for.”
        So, the dangerous duo steamroller this through, then the German people wake up and realise they have been royally shafted, what’s the prognosis then?

      • @KFC
        they already have been. It is just a matter of time before they realize it.

        Of all the peoples on the planet, it is the Germans that are the survivors. European Chinese in some ways, the Dutch being more like the Thais – it is why I like it here. This mess with all these debts needs settling, and sensibly without the interest charges getting to the point where places like Greece can’t pay them.

        Wait a minute. Greece can’t pay them now.

  19. With Cameron (Chamberlain) heading for Berlin (Munich) this Friday and Clegg (Halifax) creeping round Brussels (Rome) the pace is quickening alarmingly fast. Okay, they’re buying time but this time it might be all over by Christmas …unless ??? (Churchill, Wellington or Pitt) breaks cover.

  20. What is the problem? The eurocrats have been doing such a great job with the eurozone thus far. With that kind of track record, why wouldn’t we want to give them more, not less, to do?
    We are a couple of billion overpopulated anyway so what is a few wars? Only people at the end of the day, much less significant than 00000s on a spreadsheet………….

  21. I was at a meeting today and one party asked when and if Greece would leave the Euro. I said it takes time to change the IT systems so I thought they might try and keep the show on the road for another 6-12 months. But on the other hand, I thought the ideal time to call a banking holiday would be on Christmas Eve and reopen on 2 January. No one would realsie what was going on till the New Year. Then I woke up!

    • @Old Asia Hand
      just what do you suppose these people have been up to, deep in the vaults of JW’s mole’s bank? Knitting with their wires?

      They have been laying German ones with “DM” written on them. Actually, they are probably Japanese optical fibres, but you know what I mean.

      • But what is interesting here is that since 2008 I have reconfigured my life entirely to reduce expenditure by 40%, which even with inflation and some extra expense to lay stock in against a crisis means a significant reduction. I have also withdrawn 60%, soon to be 70% of my cash from the bank which although not large, if everybody had done it the banks would be bellyup already.

        So what is my point? Well I can’t be the only twerp reacting this way to the crisis, if a few more do so I suspect someone somewhere will be asking just what is left ‘in the system’.

        All of this because those in power think I am an idiot and swallow their boll…s whole. Well perhaps they are correct, time will tell.

        Now if as an alternative they started raising interest rates and stopped talking complete rubbish I would get back into the system and start making the world go around again.

        But that’s just me, and as I say often, I’m not very bright.

  22. As I have warned several times, the socialist EU-cratocracy are targeting the free markets. They always resort to control when their policies fail.

    First, it’s the ratings agencies:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15739234

    Next it’ll be the bond markets, then the stock markets, then the… …When they begin printing money, inflation will need to be controlled by price controls. Then of course wages must be controlled. And on and on it goes.
    This is the beginning.

  23. Pingback: GERMAN EU INTEGRATION PLANS THREATENED BY FDP REBEL | The Slog

  24. Just so that you are aware,re Jwoo,and this not alarmist. Banks worldwide,are cutting down the amount,you can withdraw,at any one time,into 3 figures. this is to stop a bank run,so the banks must be thinking there might be such an event. Some of the reduced amounts, do not come in till January 2012. You have been warned,so take the necessary action.

    • Already taken the necessary action. Saw this coming a while ago, have enough food to get by for a while too, portable wood burning stove is next, wood makes you warm three times, chopping it, carrying it and burning it, and the stove also allows you to boil water or cook in a pan on the top.

    • @nerdman:
      You may have seen my own comment yesterday in another thread that several major UK banks have reduced the max amount of online external payments using the Fast Payments Service to £500. In the case of HBOS it was £10,000 only a few weeks ago. No public announcement of this change and everybody I spoke to at HBOS stonewalled me.
      Santander have also reduced the max to £500 and I guess Loyds too.

      The FPS was only introduced ~12 months ago following an EU directive to speed up customer payment transactions. This new restriction essentially blows FPS out of the water.

      They’re obviously running scared of an electronic bank run.

      Why has BBC, Sky & MSM not picked up on this?

  25. John
    The more articles and blogs that I read the higher my blood pressure goes.As you know only too well,that ain’t good when you’re in your 60’s!
    If Europe is German dominated what does it mean to me as an individual?
    Will it really matter if we are ruled by Brussels?
    Is giving up our democracy a bad thing for the common good.The elite seem to think so, and remember, we are only the ‘people’.

    After all, there were only millions killed in two world wars and countless smaller wars to protect us from dictators,only millions made unemployed to
    protect greedy bankers,only millions of us lied to by politicans to further their own ends.

    I wish somebody could give me an answer.

    • “I wish somebody could give me an answer”.

      i’ll probably be accused of being little better than a rabid dog for saying so, but a snipers rifle and a good supply of ammunition would probably be altogether more useful than any answers available at present.

      Where are the worlds assasins when you need them, surely there are a myriad collection of suitable targets out there at present as never before.
      (Said a little tongue in cheek of course.)

  26. Pingback: CRASH 2: The markets go for the EU jugular | The Slog

  27. Pingback: CRASH 2 ANALYSIS: Why the Germans and the markets will fail in their aims. | The Slog

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