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Incidentally, my mental model is more 1914, which is suiting since we are soon to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

My analysis of events is confirmed by Jean-Claude Junkers, the former head of the Euro group. In a newspaper interview he said today that nobody should be about any illusion about the question of war and peace in Europe having been decided once and for all. He also noted that the situation in Europe in 2013 is remarkably like the situation in 1913. It is comforting to know that at least somebody is listening to me.
by The European on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 04:06:13 PM EST
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Juncker and the Eurogroup have, of course, been wrong about just about everything else they have said publicly since before the beginning of the present depression.

So his value as an authority is, perhaps, somewhat questionable.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 05:39:51 PM EST
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Juncker started talking (some) sense in his farewell appearance in the European Parliament.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 07:18:34 PM EST
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See Finally telling the truth - Juncker's shocking farewell statement to the European Parliament (Eurointelligence, 11.01.2013)
Now he is talking, shortly before leaving office. And this time, no one accuses him of lying. Jean-Claude Juncker delivered a furious valedictory speech at the economic and monetary affairs committee of the European Parliament. This was picked up by the Spanish press in particular. Cinco Dias calls Juncker's intervention "a furibund attack on Berlin". The BBC has footage of the full 90-minute session. He said:

  • that he disagreed with the rhythm of adjustments "imposed on certain countries", and that the Eurogroup has not made political valuations of the adjustments which too often were just rubber-stamping recommendations by the Commission, ECB and IMF "whose democratic legitimacy is not clear".
  • that "the choice was made to make the adjustment fall on the weakest";
  • that certain countries who benefitted from capital flight out of Greece were not doing anything about it;
  • that the mistake has been made to "underestimate the drama of unemployment" and to "give the impression that Europe is only there to punish" and by not rewarding the "program countries" for following through with their adjustment plans;
  • that his successor would be well advised to "listen to all Eurozone members on an equal footing" even if it takes a long time to go through a meeting, or else "we'll see the results in 6 months if my successor doesn't";
  • that the ESM should have "some degree of retroactivity" and be able to "recapitalise banks" and not just address "new problems that may apply in the future";
  • that the results of the latest European Council were "disappointing", because "the original idea was to present a road map for the following decades";
  • in respect of economic policy coordination, that "we can't carry on with a system where the Frankfurt monetary arm is strong and the economic policy arm is feeble" and "those who refused [in 1997] are now the largest voices calling for this idea". And "we have to make sure that every time a government recommends a structural reform it is explained to the Eurogroup and that the ministers in charge explain the consequences and others say what the consequences of such reforms will be  on policy in their countries";
  • "there's a need for all member states to agree on a 'minimum social wage'", a need for "a basis of minimum social rights for workers", as "otherwise we're going to lose the support of the working classes". There's a need to "agree on the elements of solidarity", "principle and ways and means of bank resolution", and "a deposit guarantee scheme";
  • that the Green party in Luxembourg will vote against the Fiscal Treaty because "they are fed up with what they see as a German diktat";
The BBC video is quite good.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 11th, 2013 at 05:38:44 AM EST
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