View Full Version : The EU will collapse
Tue, 17th Dec '02, 5:38pm
From a friend:
A friend of mine at the 'Frankfurter Allgemeine', and whose political opinions I sometimes quite respect, has a theory that the whole pensions/benefits fiasco will probably be overshadowed fairly soon by the EU Question.
My friend thinks that, as Germans slowly wake up to the fact that they are not longer able to retire at 45 on a full pension, that their jobs are no longer as safe as they were, and that their schools are in crisis; they will slowly demand that their country stops subsidising the EU to the enormous extent that it does at present. My journalist friend believes that German public opinion, more than anything else, might well destroy both the Euro and the EU Experiment......
As to German popular opinion and its hypothetical role in getting rid of the Euro, my friend at the FAZ thinks that it will be the ordinary German on the street who will eventually rise up and protest. My friend thinks that Germans will become increasingly tired of their high taxes and steadily declining public services, and that they will increasingly resent the fact that their money is subsidising the rest of the EU, whilst their economy is stagnating and their pensions and benefits are in crisis. Many Germans will then start putting increasing pressure on their politicians to reduce national contributions to the EU, which will then totally devastate EU finances and make subsidies impossible to finance. The crisis in European funding would cut the EU infrastructure back to absolute basics, many of the biggest net contributors would follow Germany's example and refuse to make payments, and this might lead in turn to the Euro becoming unsustainable.
Another hurdle being bandied about on European financial markets(froms someone else):
I do REALLY think Soros is going to mount an attack on the Euro. If nothing else because the rumours of it are so strong in the continental European financial markets at the moment that it would surprise me more if it weren't true. Whether or not he annihilates the currency is an entirely different matter, but he's certainly capable of doing it enough damage that it will force the member states to call the whole policy into serious question, and raise completely new issues.
Both quotes are from Europeans as this "thick American" couldn't get it. Is the above true or false?
[ December 17, 2002, 17:41: Message edited by: Laches ]
Tue, 17th Dec '02, 6:09pm
I have no idea to be honest as I gave up listen to what to what Brussels was dictating our laws should be in the UK a while back. Hopefully however, it will be seen that the EU is actually really messing quite a few countries around, and many are better off out of it.
A friend of mine a while back was going on about Britain possibly joining the US's trading thing, I can't remember details sorry. As he put it "lets do it :) ". Why? Apart from DVD's and computer games being released at the American dates, Europe is pretty much starting to dictate too much of each individual countries policies IMO.
Also at last look the Euro wasn't very popular in certain quarters and I think the UK government is just willing to ***** itself to anyone they think will line their pockets.
Tue, 17th Dec '02, 7:37pm
I'd look up the EU contribution rates if I had the time, but the financial black hole that was East Germany is as far as I'm aware more to blame for the problems faced there than the EU.
They can't blame the rest of the EU for that.
On the topic of unravelling the EU, I think that the real test will come in 2004 when 12 new countries are admitted...... Then we really will see. If it doesn't, how far away is the "United States of Europe?"
Tue, 17th Dec '02, 7:58pm
Whether or not the EU takes the heat when the worldwide debt bubble bursts as the current economic cycle reaches its nadir (all efforts of Alan Greenspan and other central bankers to the contrary aside) remains to be seen. The global economy IS slowing - actually contracting, in Japan - and it will be up to each country's leaders to determine how they want to ride out the storm. I suppose that blaming it all on the EU is one possible pathway, even if it's not particularly realistic.
Tue, 17th Dec '02, 8:16pm
You must remember that Germany would still be in a sh** hole if America hadn't funded it after the war.
Tue, 17th Dec '02, 8:29pm
Viking, actually the quotes were in the context of a discussion about the German financial problems.
Here is a longer quote simply to give the preceding context of the discussion:
Well, I thought that Schröder had started thinking about legislation on the issues of pensions, labour laws and pensions in the few months before the election. However, after the Social Democrats won in September, these proposed pieces of legislation mysteriously disappeared and never made it into parliamentary discussion.
Things are indisputably going less well for the German economy; it is certainly stagnating and has been the slowest-growing in the whole of the EU for the last eight years running. The Germans were formally reprimanded recently by the EU High Command for letting their budget deficit increase over acceptable EU levels. However, given that the bankrupt and antiquated GDR only formally became part of a reunified Germany in 1990, it is absolutely astonishing that the Germans have managed to transform the east so overwhelmingly in such a short space of time, and have not bankrupted the entire country in the process. Germany was saddled with the ongoing bill for transforming an area of 18 million people, an obsolete economy and a pre-WWII infrastructure into a modern, twenty-first century European region, with all the welfare and social benefits that entails. The result so far is absolutely astonishing. Additionally, the German economy is an overwhelmingly export-driven one, which means that it is hugely vulnerable during a world-wide economic slump like the one we are seeing at present. The German economy is also hidebound by extremely restrictive and intrusive regulation, and heavily burdened by one of the most protected, expensive and inflexible labour forces on the planet.
However, the German economy is still by far the biggest in Europe (a third bigger again than the economies of either the UK or France). The idea that Germany is slowly stagnating into oblivion has been around for years now, yet the country is still by far the richest country in the EU, with incredibly generous welfare payments and benefits for everybody in need of them. German workers are entitled to six or eight weeks' holiday a year, and work approximately 25% fewer hours a year than their counterparts in America. Despite the productivity downturn, lack of economic growth and a persistent failure to modernise labour-relations, taxes or the welfare state, Germans still live extremely well.
As to what I think will happen: probably very little, at least not for the next few years. I can't imagine that Schröder will be exactly keen to institute radical reform in the face of the minuscule parliamentary majority for the SDP. Demographic trends and economic forecasts mean, I think, that Germany will start to run out of money sometime in the next 20-30 years. I imagine that the Europe Union Experiment might well have muddied the waters irrecoverably long before that. It isn't that they think the German's woes are because of the EU solely but rather when the German's start to see their benefits shrink they will no longer be willing to fund the EU regardless of why the crisis originated.
Personally, I find the idea of an attack by Soros to be a bit farfetched although I understand he has done similar things before. Since he has poured so much into Hungary that I suspect he is pretty patriotic and destroying the EU hurts Hungary's chances of joining up later. Apparently he scares a lot of people though.
Tue, 17th Dec '02, 8:29pm
EU will not collapse as there is too much to lose (money). But not only that.
There is no waving with nukes in Europe, there are no threats in Europe and there is no "you have to eat GM food" hysteria in Europe. Except the possible phobia of mad cows, I can't see any reason why EU should break apart. :)
Unless it's nuked by the mad bomber who probably doesn't even know where the Europe is on the geographical map and who heard about Europe first time in his life when he became a president. No, this is not an irony, sarcasm, joke or something similar. It's the fact.
The Deviant Mage
Tue, 17th Dec '02, 8:33pm
Vermillion, do you mean NAFTA? That's the only trade thing I can think of at the moment.
Personally, I don't see the United Kingdom joining the North American Free Trade Agreement nations simply because of...well, you know. :rolleyes:
Tue, 17th Dec '02, 8:48pm
Extremist, thank you for the wonderfully enlightening post. I was hoping to get some rational discussion from those who might be familiar with the subject. I particularly liked how your post had well thought out and supported opinions.
You were right for pointing out to us "thick Americans" that if there is a problem with the EU it will be big bad America's fault. Your support for this claim was particularly compelling. I can't wait for your next well thought out post.
Tue, 17th Dec '02, 9:27pm
There is no next "well thought out post". I've been pretty clear in my first one and you did read it correctly.
If anything happens, it'll be "big bad america" (USA to be precise, sorry to all Canadians who could misread this). Let's not pretend that it's not so. Unless the GM food pressure on Europe is a hoax?
[ December 17, 2002, 21:28: Message edited by: Extremist ]
Tue, 17th Dec '02, 9:40pm
6. To furnish corroborating evidence for: New facts supported her story.
Alright, this is a bit off topic, but since it is a moderator, why was there a split for these type of topics? According to Tal:
I don't think we need fear any shortage of posts in Whatnots. And I think it certainly makes sense to make a specific forum for more serious topics, with a specific set of rules as well. Most of serious discussion now is pretty much unmoderated, but if it had a specific forum rules and guidelines could be set down to make discussions really worthy debates, not just spilling of random thoughts by anyone who comes along. (Which is pretty much the case now.)
I would like to advocate that one of the new guidelines is that there should generally where possible be support for positions, particularly outrageous ones. I sort of took Tal's reasons for the new forum to be that he might have had this type of idea in mind. I can see no need from the topic to drag this into a debate about America but if you wish to do so, I'm asking for support, in keeping with the spirit behind making an entirely new forum. It should be easy to obtain if it's true, just show how the U.S. is working to undermine the EU (other than talking about stupid "thick Americans" want to NUKE EM ALL!!!!)
Tue, 17th Dec '02, 9:57pm
This is your topic title:
The EU will collapse
On that topic title I've gave you my thoughts which I do believe are serious and on topic. Perhaps I don't look serious, but that's just me then...
If you think it's off topic thought, there is a nice Report Rules Violations link at the top of each thread. No member is excluded from rules and that includes moderator(s) too.
What did you expect me to say anyway? To examine and analyze each sentence from those quotes and put a thought on them? Why would I do that? How can I even explain to you that I don't think that Soros is a capable of destruction of Euro like your friend thinks?
I've simply said that only thing that can do anything are nukes. Are you (your friend) suggesting that Soros keeps his own private collection of such weaponry? Even if you do, I don't believe that except the person I've posted above, there is noone normal on this planet that could even think about nuking anyone. Um, well, ok, let me rephrase - there is noone who has the power to do that like he does.
And I don't know why are you enforcing the "thick american" phrase. I don't call americans as thick anywhere. Perhaps a bit arrogant, but thick, no.
[ December 17, 2002, 22:03: Message edited by: Extremist ]
Tue, 17th Dec '02, 10:22pm
Actually, this is getting somewhere, I hope. You ask:
How can I even explain to you that I don't think that Soros is a capable of destruction of Euro like your friend thinks?
aside from the fact that it wasn't my friend who was talking about Soros and the guy said that was the feeling in the European markets I think you could explain why you don't think Soros is capable of destroying the EU by saying something like:
"I don't think Soros is able to destroy the EU because ______________." You fill in the blank. Maybe you think like I do that he is a fairly patriotic Hungarian and would see hurting the EU as potentially damaging to Hungary who hopes to join. Maybe you think that while he has destroyed other currencies he doesn't plan to do so with the Euro for other reasons. I don't know why you think Soros can't destroy the EU because up until your last post you never mentioned this is what you thought. You simply insulted the US in a topic that has nothing to do with it and then act upset when I asked for some support.
I thought the whole purpose of "Alley" was to make some attempt at regulating the discussion in a more productive manner. In short, you should be willing to give the reasons behind your opinions. Just like I said above, if you want to say Soros can't destroy the EU that's cool, just please tell us why instead of calling the American President a stupid mad bomber. That isn't particularly rational and I thought the purpose of the split was to inject some measure or rationale into the discussions.
[ December 17, 2002, 22:22: Message edited by: Laches ]
Tue, 17th Dec '02, 10:56pm
Not stupid mad bomber. Ignorant mad bomber.
I'm not the psychologist, but that he is mad bomber is what I think about him. Do you have the files from his shrinks that say the opposite?
This is what you've said: You were right for pointing out to us "thick Americans" that if there is a problem with the EU it will be big bad America's fault.This is basically what I've replied: I've been pretty clear in my first one and you did read it correctly. If anything happens, it'll be "big bad america" (USA to be precise, sorry to all Canadians who could misread this).I've simply tried to tell you that I understand your understanding of my post. Are you suggesting that I've misunderstood you and in "big bad America's fault" plus "thick americans" you've included Canadians? :eek:
Upset on support? I'm unsure where did you dig that up. I merely pointed you out the BoM option to report the rules violations.
I don't fill any blanks here. Soros did plenty good things (yes, in my tiny lil' country too, check for Feral Tribune on the internet if you want to learn more) that are definetly not killing of the EU.
Anyway, what type of constructivity do you expect from a person who doesn't care about politics, who doesn't plan to care about politics, and who simply wants to state his opinion?
You don't expect me to quote the whole internet instead of posting a simple short opinion. Or I'm wrong?
Ok, if you want, I can quote you my friends' mails/posts/whatever just like you did, but I really prefer to post *my* opinions on any subject. In that case I feel as if such post was my own kid. Yea, now I guess you'll twist that sentence of mine and say:
EU is gone because europeans equalize posts with kids!
No matter. What you can see so far, I won't quote any magazine and I won't quote any book. Quoting should serve for proving something to someone that is unsure in a matter. Since you're obviously always 100% sure in some matter, there is no need to prove the opposite. In fact, the best option to take in such cases is - to leave the debate. Right?
Tue, 17th Dec '02, 11:24pm
Aye that was the trade thingy I was on about. As for joining it, dunno if they will, but would be better than staying in the EU IMO. The past years there's just been so many new orders for us to do that have detrimental. Still, with the current climate (big bads ol' dubyaa in charge) I think it would be provident to wait, he seems intent on screwing a lot of things up. Time will tell huh?
Tue, 17th Dec '02, 11:52pm
No I dont think Germany will break loose from the EU no matter how severe the public opinion will be, nothing short of a fullscale revolution will be able to do that. The fact is that the whole world is in an economic recess now with slights ups but generally on a low level. Top off the german problem with building up eastgermany it isnt surprising that their economy has gotten alittle slow lately. But I wouldnt say that it has been really bad for a long time afaik it is only about now that the german economy has started to get some rather biggish problems. Atleast it is just now the news here have started to talk about it. But the fact is that the economic problems would probably have been more severe if they hadnt been part of the EU. In todays globalised world no state can afford to stand alone, not even mighty Germany even if they would have an easier time than most other nations. To be able to efficently fight stagflation and inflation you need to band together to gain credibility or be at the mercy of the speculators like Soros around the world. Germany is as has been said also a nation with a big export sector and by being members of the EU they get a huge internal market without any tariffs or customs. Germany may not earn as much on an EU membership as say Portugal but they are still better off in than they would be out. Especially in the long run. And I havent even started on the political aspects of keeping the EU which are even greater and more important than the economical ones.
Wed, 18th Dec '02, 12:43am
I also doubt that germany will leave the EU how moronic our chancellor however will become (he's bad enough the way he is already). Studying law, european law is my focus, and the transformation and general influence of european into our national law is pretty complete already - I can hardly even imagine *how* germany should leave at all considering all the synergy and interaction of european law with national law.
Additionally, it would be our economical ruin to leave the EU - living in our free marked is the life elixier of our economy. A step back to national markets would not only mean to go backward but be ruinous.
PS: Z-Layrex, You must remember that Germany would still be in a sh** hole if America hadn't funded it after the war. True, true - but mind that the UK got Marshall plan aids too (iirc even more than Germany) - and even though less destroyed than Germany, the british economy quickly was overshadowed by the old enemy. I can understand your frustration however.
[ December 18, 2002, 08:39: Message edited by: Ragusa ]