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

Do really think the quality of public debate in Germany is higher? The other european countries have professional governments, professional administrations, armies of economist, jurist etc. too. So they shuold have been as bale or unable as germany to understand what they were doing. It is not as if Germany is the only professional government in the EU facing a bunch of prt.time village councils.

 >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)<

You can't blame idiotic nationalistic pride in other countries on Germany.

 >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).<

Like german as working language in the EU or the eternal german quest of a permanent seat in the security council.

 >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.>

I am reasonably sure a similar complex exists in most eastern european countries.

 

by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:33:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am reasonably sure a similar complex exists in most eastern european countries.

Luckily for them, they joined the EU in 2004.

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 11:48:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do really think the quality of public debate in Germany is higher?

No, but Germany is benefiting from the delusions in question.

Again: Does Scientology magically become not a pyramid scam just because the people running it happen to believe in the bullshit they're selling?

Does a homeopath suddenly become blameless for killing people through malign neglect, just because he believes that his magic water will cure their cancer?

Does Jim Jones becomes blameless for lacing his kool-aid with cyanide, just because his followers swallowed it?

If the answer to any of those questions is "no," then why the fuck should we cut Germany a break for wrecking the Eurozone?

I am reasonably sure a similar complex exists in most eastern european countries.

And this makes it OK for Germany to exploit it?

Just so we're clear on that. Because if it's OK for Germany place its own narrow national interest above the interests of the European community, then it would also be OK for, say, Ireland to selectively default on only German holders of Irish government bonds.

Sauce for the goose, and all that.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:48:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The  tax-haven and neo-liberal casino of Ireland has done damage enough, including  sending european commissars pushing neo-liberalism.

Do you really want to argue that out of 27 EU-Countries only one has a national interest?

>then it would also be OK for, say, Ireland to selectively default on only German holders of Irish government bonds.<

careful here, the mask is dropping-

by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:54:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And now the half of the Irish population that never touched Fianna Fail with a barge pole must be punished for McCreevy, eh?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 11:59:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, no nationality doesn't matters, what?
by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 12:18:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My point is that why did they join is not an argument. They did it ostensibly for the wrong reasons.

Also, countries have not opposed Merkel more forcefully because doing so "might be un-european" or something. In the Spring of 2010 Sarkozy reportedly (later deniedly) threatened to quit the Eurozone there and then if Germany didn't agree to a Greek bailout. Also Zapatero should have realised the "European friends" were not his friends at all, but he probably couldn't fathom it (Here is a fully sourced contemporary diary to anger you). Less than a year after that, Socrates and Zapatero even saw it fit to shun a PES summit in order not to be seen as "not playing ball" with the Eurozone powers that be.

I call this Stockholm syndrome. You may disagree. What it isn't is a rational macroeconomic policy.

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 11:56:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And I call it blame shifting. And scape goating.

The actual policies of the european countries - as opposed to the policies you thin they should pursue - matter very much.

>You may disagree.<

Very generous.

>What it isn't is a rational macroeconomic policy.<

Have I said so?

by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 12:04:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And I call it blame shifting. And scape goating.

Accusing Zapatero of being spineless and clueless is blame shifting?

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 01:33:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. Of the "the emperor is good-intentioned. But just listening to evil councilors. These evil councilors being in the pay of foreign interests" sort.
by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 01:42:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Funny you should say that.

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 01:52:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 Jordi Sevilla, alias Jürgen Schulze, german agent.
by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 01:54:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He's just as neoliberal as the SPD.

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 02:03:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As to ZP's cluelessness, do you know about the anecdote of the "two afternoons"?

There was a notorious "open mike" gaffe between Sevilla and Zapatero. Zapatero had made some rookie mistake in a public statement as opposition leader and Sevilla said to him "don't worry, I can teach you all you need to know in two afternoons".

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 02:06:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To teach the tenets of practical neoliberalism, two hours will do. Perhaps another hour for the third way dressing.
by IM on Sat Feb 18th, 2012 at 02:14:01 PM EST
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Well, I could also conclude that ZP was evil or traitorous. Would that be better?

After all,

The day after ZP won the elections on March 14, 2004, the cry of the youth on the street was Zapatero, no nos falles (Zapatero, don't let us down). [After May 15, 2011], it's Zapatero nos falla y nos reprime (Zapatero lets us down and represses us).


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 02:29:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
>As a matter of fact, given the quality of public debate, this is exactly what happened.<

Do really think the quality of public debate in Germany is higher?

Patently not, as you know from my commenting here.

But what is the implication of that? That we should just accept that the body politic is stupid and stop criticising stupid policy?

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 02:11:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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