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Eurointelligence: Germany's constitutional court clears EFSF, but sets limits (08.09.2011)
For Reinhard Müller the court prohibits the Bundestag to disempower itself

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung's legal correspondent Reinhard Müller lauds the fact that the constitutional court's ruling makes it clear that a disempowerment of Bundestag is unconstitutional. "The German legislator must not accept durable mechanisms in international law that would end in guaranteeing the decisions of other states", Müller writes. Each help that generates costs within the EU and on an international level "must from now on be voted on by Bundestag in each individual case", he concludes.

For Heribert Prantl the limits of EU integration in the Grundgesetz have been reached

For Süddeutsche Zeitung's deputy editor Heribert Prantl the Karlsruhe ruling has defined the limits of European integration as long as the Grundgesetz is in place. "The power of the Grundgesetz ends when the European confederation becomes a federal state", he explains underlining that the European possibilities of the Grundgesetz have been exhausted.  "If more Europe becomes necessary, a European government shall be created - whether you call it an economic government or otherwise. It would then no longer be sufficient to involve the parliament, and a new constitutional basis would needed. This would supplant the Grundgesetz, and would have to be decided by the people".

For Nikolaus Blome Germany has drawn its red lines

After Angela Merkel's speech in Bundestag and the court ruling, Bild's deputy editor Nikolaus Blome explains the chancellor's design for tomorrow's eurozone. "At the moment the euro states are like car drivers who do not respect the traffic rules, who are not afraid of police tickets, who get into accidents and endanger each other", he writes. "That is bad enough. But it is no reason to take the steering wheels out of all cars, the accelerator and brakes. Instead we need more traffic lights, tougher penalties and quick penalties for all breaches, perhaps even taking away the driver's licence." In any way, Blome concludes, Merkel has drawn her "red line" and made it clear that there is "no need for a debt union with euro bonds where Brussels is dictating national budgets and where each individual state guarantees everybody else".



Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 10:17:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like it will take a pretty severe financial failure before a federated Europe is possible. One wonders whether the current crisis can be weathered without a significant political breakdown...
by asdf on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 11:01:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why don't you write a diary about the parallels you see with this?
By 1783, with the end of the British blockade, the new nation was regaining its prosperity. However, trade opportunities were restricted by the mercantilism of the British and French empires. The ports of the British West Indies were closed to all staple products which were not carried in British ships. France and Spain established similar policies. Simultaneously, new manufacturers faced sharp competition from British products which were suddenly available again. Political unrest in several states and efforts by debtors to use popular government to erase their debts increased the anxiety of the political and economic elites which had led the Revolution. The apparent inability of the Congress to redeem the public obligations (debts) incurred during the war, or to become a forum for productive cooperation among the states to encourage commerce and economic development, only aggravated a gloomy situation. In 1786-87, Shays' Rebellion, an uprising of farmers in western Massachusetts against the state court system, threatened the stability of state government.

The Continental Congress printed paper money which was so depreciated that it ceased to pass as currency, spawning the expression "not worth a continental". Congress could not levy taxes and could only make requisitions upon the States. Less than a million and a half dollars came into the treasury between 1781 and 1784, although the governors had been asked for two million in 1783 alone.

When Adams went to London in 1785 as the first representative of the United States, he found it impossible to secure a treaty for unrestricted commerce. Demands were made for favors and there was no assurance that individual states would agree to a treaty. Adams stated it was necessary for the States to confer the power of passing navigation laws to Congress, or that the States themselves pass retaliatory acts against Great Britain. Congress had already requested and failed to get power over navigation laws. Meanwhile, each State acted individually against Great Britain to little effect. When other New England states closed their ports to British shipping, Connecticut hastened to profit by opening its ports.

By 1787 Congress was unable to protect manufacturing and shipping. State legislatures were unable or unwilling to resist attacks upon private contracts and public credit. Land speculators expected no rise in values when the government could not defend its borders nor protect its frontier population.

The idea of a convention to revise the Articles of Confederation grew in favor. Alexander Hamilton realized while serving as Washington's top aide that a strong central government was necessary to avoid foreign intervention and allay the frustrations due to an ineffectual Congress. Hamilton led a group of like-minded nationalists, won Washington's endorsement, and convened the Annapolis Convention in 1786 to petition Congress to call a constitutional convention to meet in Philadelphia to remedy the long-term crisis.



Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 11:09:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, that is exactly the model I was thinking of. Not that I have much to add to it other than to suggest that perhaps the period of this cycle is around 100 years: our Civil War was a review of whether a strong central government was needed, and we seem to be headed for another test of that idea now.
by asdf on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 11:22:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama has been compared to Hoover but I think a better comparison is Franklin Pierce.  Because of that I'm no longer confident the US will exist in its present form 20 years from now.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 11:50:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure much of what we see now, politically, economically, and environmentally, will exist in 20 years.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 01:13:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Look back 20 years and remember the earth-shaking changes.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 04:55:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That was then, this is now.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 05:03:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So did Pierce cause the Civil War? If so, how?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 05:04:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as I understand Pierce is seen like his successor Buchanan as one of the presidents who let the country drift toward civil war. He also supposed the Kansas-Nebraska compromise. But on the other hand presidents were weaker in the 19 century and much of the blame belongs to congress.

Nathanial Hawthorne was a big Pierce supporter, and even did  write things for his election campaign. The political acumen of writers...

by IM on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 05:34:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like Gunter Grass perhaps?

i like writers who do some homework before they open their word processors.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 09:06:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Hawthorne's case I think you mean "do some homework before sharpening his quill pen."

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 09:19:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not surte that >Grass is using a word processor either. And compared to say, Walser he is rock of political judgement.
by IM on Sat Sep 10th, 2011 at 11:44:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Cause" is too strong.  

Pierce tried "to bipartisan" an unbridgeable divide between the economic, social, and cultural differences of the North and South.  Slavery is the best known division but was the least important to the majority of US citizens.  Putting in a nutshell, the South was a 17th century economy and the North was a Industrial Revolution based 19th century economy with any economic policy that 'fitted' the one was opposed by the other.

Scale of difference is illustrated by the fact one city, New York, produced more manufactured goods than all of the eleven states of the Confederacy.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 06:21:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And of course the problem of slavery was exacerbated by the South's insistence that all of the states of the North vigorously assist them in the capture and return of runaway slaves. Slaveholders were so convinced of the virtue of slavery that they insisted on attempting to rub the noses of northerners in the whole practice. They idolized classical Greek culture as it was based on slave labor. That is the origin of the whole "Greek" theme in collegiate fraternities and sororities, though today most would be challenged to know more Greek than the names of the letters used in familiar fraternities and sororities.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 11:43:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like it will take a pretty severe financial failure before a federated Europe is possible. One wonders whether the current crisis can be weathered without a significant political breakdown...

If we can get through the next ten years with no (civil) wars or fascist coups in Europe, I'll count my blessings.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Sep 8th, 2011 at 09:56:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
L'Afrique commence aux Pyrénées.

Which means that as far as Core Europe is concerned, whatever happens to the PIIGS doesn't really count.

Amusingly, though, the countries with the resurgent far right xenophobic parties are all in the Core...

Economics is politics by other means

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 04:54:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I trust you will excuse me for not being quite that sanguine about the prospect of losing half of European civilisation to an atavistic throwback to the 19th century.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 05:02:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which half are you referring to? North or South of the Alps?

Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 05:06:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Strange comment. Jake speaks of the risks of "(civil) war or fascist coups in Europe" and you decide that means the PIIGS that Core Europe doesn't care what happens to, (which that French expression obviously proves) - and then you find "amusing" the (apparently counter-)fact that the risks of fascism appear to be greater in Core Europe.

Kneejerk, some?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 05:23:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm fucking pissed off, some.

Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 05:25:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jake is presumably afraid there will be fascist coups or civil wars in the PIIGS (Greece being a prime candidate right now if they continue to tighten the budgetary thumbscrews on it).

To which I reply that, if Core Europe gave a toss (they talk a good democratic game, but by their deeds ye shall know them), none of this would be happening.

What's interesting is that there are no resurgent xenophobic far right parties in the PIIGS yet, as opposed to France (Marine Le Pen), the Netherlands (Wilders, as well as the delightful Liberals (!?) such as the also-ran Rita Verdonk or PM Mark Rutte), Switzerland (Swiss National Party), Denmark (Danks Folkeparti, enabled by the delightful Liberals, too) and Finland (True Finns). And in the last Landswahl the FDP got FDP got fewer votes than the NDP.

Economics is politics by other means

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 05:47:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's your assumption that's what Jake is saying. But, as you yourself point out, there are reasons to be concerned for countries in Northern Europe too.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 06:08:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the South will reach what the communists call "objective revolutionary conditions" before the North does.

So if you're going to bet money on there being a fascist coup or civil war, I would bet on somewhere in the South. How it goes from there is anybody's guess - once the tanks come out, the institutional landscape changes so fast that we won't be in Kansas no more.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 06:21:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That will just prove the the North that the South cant govern itself.

Ain't life grand?

Economics is politics by other means

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 06:24:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps.

Or perhaps it will scare the useless fucking third-way zombies enough that they stop coalitioning with the enemy.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 06:30:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do we really have to sacrifice one country or two before that happens?

Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 06:32:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Have to sacrifice" in the sense that throwing a country or two under the bus is an operational requirement? No. Operationally speaking, virtually no event of any economic importance since 2008 has been necessary.

"Have to sacrifice" in the sense that the third-way zombies will shuffle on in their usual brain-dead way until they have the full consequences of their stupidity instructively and colourfully illustrated in a country they share a land border with? That is not beyond the scope of the imagination.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 07:17:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Talked to my cousin in Greece this morning, born in Greece, educated in USA, went back to Greece to do consulting for industries (supply-chain).

Says that even the businesses have ceased caring about the EU program. They are resigned.

I can't see 10% of the hard core right-wing taking on the rest of the 90% which will be united post-default.

Also, I don't see much historical precedent for this sort of thing. Greece has a reputation because of the 45-49 Civil War and also the Colonels, but the reasons for these divisions are not economic. The Civil War had two main factors behind it. One, Greece had not been united in the way it is now (I'm talking land mass here) and there was always political tension between the the newly acquired regions in the north, and the heart of the country in the South. Greece slowly took property from the Ottomans and Turkey will into the mid-20th century and this caused such weird formations as dual national governments. As well, you had the quisling Nazi government during the war opposed chiefly by Communist rebels. The Royalist opposition was meager. So there was a power vacuum after the war.

To a degree, Greece's people are ideologically situated still, but I heavily doubt there would be animus there beyond the far-right and left wing.

by Upstate NY on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 12:56:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Possibly a nationalist upsurge as the country unites against there "oppressors?"

(Kindly note the quote marks.)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 07:46:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And also note the fact I realized I wrote "there" instead of "their" immediately after hitting the Post button.

(%@^#%$!)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 07:48:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought Hungary was ahead on the way to fascism. But that is East. Or Center.

For that matter, I would count the Nordic countries out of Core EUrope as most has barely been members for 20 years.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 06:29:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On tightening the budgetary thumbscrews, BTW...

Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 06:13:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the footage that came out of Athens this Spring was even halfway representative, I would say that no, there really are "resurgent xenophobic far right parties" in the PIIGS. And the police is unable or unwilling to take to the streets to suppress them.

Unless you wish to argue that they are not "resurgent" because the PIIGS never really dealt with their fascist problem in the first place?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 06:18:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right-ho: Kristallnacht in Athens by talos on May 14th, 2011
Scenes from the Nazi pogrom against immigrants Athens 12/5


Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 06:20:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are resurgent far-right parties everywhere.

I went to a very worrying event about six weeks ago which suggests there's a real danger of England's neo-nazis (note - not the UK's) finding a new and more effective recruiting message than the 'I'm with stupid' they've been using for the last 30 years.

I'll diary it when I have time. (Which might not be for a while, unfortunately.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 06:43:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
the countries with the resurgent far right xenophobic parties are all in the Core...

so italy's far right xenophobia is de-surgent? that's a relief!

if only the left were not so milquetoast...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 05:58:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL, touche...

Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 06:00:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They think Padania is in Northern Europe....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 06:13:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dunno: talos will explain there's some funky far right-wing stuff happening in Greece, with ties to the police. Doesn't take much of that and some links to the army to get a fun little far right coup in Greece.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 06:14:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would totally stun me to see something like that succeed there.

1974 was a real inoculation for Greece. It hasn't worn off yet.

by Upstate NY on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 12:58:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
more than a few of the "core" commenters in Germany put France and Belgium on the Southern side...

So cue in the Flemish-Walloon divorce, the Padania-Rest-of-Italy divorce, and the France-Germany one.

Weeeeee!

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 06:27:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, we did notice...

Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 06:28:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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