by Franck Biancheri
Whatever the institutions say, we must anticipate the reality: the transition to the euro will take place under the worst conditions against the backdrop of an economic recession! But no… shh… we must not “despair the Euro-citizens”.
Growth? It’s okay, don’t worry about it! The attacks in the United States will have no impact in Europe. The transition to the Euro? Everything is perfect. It will be a vague little incident that will soon be forgotten.
Citizen support for the community process? No problem at all. Moreover, do the attacks in the United States not reinforce the need for European integration?
In passing, it may be noted that the attacks have an effect or no effect… depending on the needs of the demonstration.
The parody of the EuroBarometer, which only measures the willingness of the system to reassure itself
As for the Euro, based on this parody of political observation that is the EuroBarometer, and its questions such as “Do you think you are well informed? “, it is certain that we can see the future in pink… and forget that the question should be qualitative “How are you informed? What information do you have? “.
I can believe that the Euro will be worth 2 FF and believe that I am well informed. The EuroBarometer actually measures only one thing: the need for the Community system to reassure itself about the future. Nothing else. The questions are oriented in this direction…and the numbers too if necessary.
But back to the dominant discourse. I understand, of course, that the role of a finance minister or a central banker is not to panic the stock markets; but from there to believe that it is by denying reality that we can prepare our fellow citizens to face the future, there is a huge leap.
Because this reality exists. It is being asserted every day in practice. Stock markets have lost 50% of their value in one year; the results of a growing number of companies are deteriorating rapidly; unemployment is rising or no longer falling; following the attacks, entire sectors, such as aviation, insurance or tourism, are facing huge problems; and following the American retaliation, it is more than improbable that things will improve.
Moreover, the same people who believed that the “Internet bubble” was healthy are still in charge; the same people who played this huge mismanagement around UMTS licences are still in office; the same people who created this magnificent “Stability Pact” around the Euro, which will be unleashed in full flight within 5/6 months; the same people who allowed the Mad Cow crisis are still there too… in Brussels, Paris, London, Berlin or elsewhere. Imagine the extent of their experience…if it is right, as Oscar Wilde said, “the name that men give to the sum of their mistakes”.
And tomorrow demagos and populists of all kinds will invade the European political scene
So really, why worry? Why fear that in 2002, when the problems will brutally follow rhetoric, when the current immense effort of political and financial manipulation (to keep hearts and courts high), it will be demagogues and populists on all sides who will win the day: who on the back of democracy, who on the back of Europe, who on the back of immigrants!
Technocrats, who by nature have no political sense, do not fear it. In fact, they could even live with it as they have with the rest. Hitler and Stalin needed bureaucrats, didn’t they?
But no, let us not worry, let us look at the famous democratic debate on the future of Europe…. No one is involved in it. Those who know don’t care; and others wonder what will happen in practice next year and beyond. If there are no democratic means to choose/sanction leaders… well, let us expect the success of all the demagogic forces in the EU.
As might have been expected (cf. previous Newropinions), there is no longer any space for this “democratic debate”. This is already true at national level; then let us not even talk about the European level, where the Commission is now totally unable to stimulate any action beyond a 500-metre radius around the Schuman Round Point (the geographical epicentre of the institutions in Brussels).
When the Iceberg Euro meets the Unsinkable Titanic UE!
The European construction of the last 50 years has gradually moved away from a clever cocktail of brilliant senior officials, bold policies, brilliant managers and mission administration… to a mediocre Eurocracy of unimaginative accountants for over a decade, adventurers attracted by the “gold” of Brussels, lobbies more opaque than each other and technocrats with no particular talents other than their ability to serve the interests of the most powerful… all convinced to be in a management administration (including the management of a European power… yet virtual). There are still a good third of European civil servants with the required qualities, but they have been muzzled and trapped in a drifting machine for years. This drift has been increasing over the past two years, contrary to the stated objectives.
Politicians, for their part, have not existed for a long time in this game… except for family photos at European Summits… their “national formation” (in every sense of the word) prevents them from understanding much of the great community game… and even less from seriously influencing it. At Community level, politicians are in any case prisoners of their administrations: without European networks, without European political experience. They are only the screens of the Euro-bureaucratic system.
This is the army of “dedicated and competent servants” with which the community of 350 million Euro-citizens will face in the coming months and years. But don’t worry… everything is fine… and everything can only get better. The transition to the Euro will be a walk in the park! And the Titanic was a guaranteed unsinkable boat.
By the way, certainly an unimportant question, where will the European political movements and leaders come from who will oppose demagogues and populists tomorrow and anchor European integration in a democratic framework?