Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Your picture of an europe where all other countries are not only powerless but not even able to understand what they sign is a fairy tale.

As a matter of fact, given the quality of public debate, this is exactly what happened.

It is apparently a matter of national pride that Spain "will be in the core Euro" (that's just laughable given the fundamentals, in the case of France it's equally wrongheaded but at least borderline), just like it was a matter of national pride to get into the Euro in 1999. A lot of it must have had to do with "showing those Germans and Dutch" (do you remember the rhetoric of the late 1990s about undeserving Southerners? Not that different from Rutte's and de Jager's this past year)

Another example, when in late 2008 there were discussions about having a G20 there was a huge brouhaha in Spain about whether Spain would have a seat at the table or not. It was all about national pride again. There was not a single discussion of what it was that Spain wanted to say from that seat, if it got it (which it did, and we apparently had Sarkozy to thank for that, or something).

I mean, European politics is at the level of a nursery school playground.

In addition, as I have pointed out repeatedly, there is an issue of "European inadequacy complex" on the part of Greece, Portugal and Spain, which were kept out of the European Communities on account of, first, underdevelopment and then, until the mid-1970s, because they were dictatorships. Presumably Italy got in early because of its industrial North, because Italians also contributed greatly to the Gastarbeiter in the 1960s like the other Mediterranean countries.

Around 1990, only the lyrical left opposed the Maastricht treaty and, boy, were they right (and for the right reasons, too). By the time 1999 rolled by, the Euro wasn't debatable in serious company.

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:04:29 AM EST
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