Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The greedy bastards who created the Euro thought we'd be so happy with the way things would go with the new magic currency that sovereign states would be delighted to trust fiscal policy to Brussels.

The ensuing clusterfuck has increased interstate animosity to the point where most citizens don't trust Brussels or the Euro any more, effectively hamstringing the EZ economy (for Joe and Jane Average), at the same time as turning a blind eye to all the 'funny money' sloshing around the City, HSBC, the Libor scandal etc etc, ensuring bigger bonuses and salaries to the 1%, while leaving people who were able to make a decent living in the post war 'glory decades' now scuffling precariously for any job.

Nice to see Germans not having to beg for a job any more, but any hopes that this is going to ripple across the rest of the EU economy are fading as the calamities pile up.

By doing this EU thingy badly there's a real risk that any future desire or attempt to do it well has been delayed decades, especially if the whole mess comes unglued around a Grexit.

Orthogonal to the employment issue is immigration, with reports of nearly a million economic/war refugees poised to try and cross the Med from the Maghreb this summer.

This is a fermenting nightmare in Italy right now, with strong pressure to rewrite the Dublin agreement, as Brussels seems oblivious to the social tensions building with dwindling jobs for Europeans now accentuated by droves of refugees who are blocked in the country of entry, ie Italy for the most part. People who even have relatives in Germany to go to are stuck in detention centres here for a year or more with no language skills, no employment, no entertainment -they are given E5 a day for pocket money and even housed in 4 star hotels by mayors who have nowhere else to put them. Of course the media are having a field day with this, fuelling further tensions. Meanwhile the boats keep coming as warmer weather helps people survive the crossing in greater numbers.

Our lords and masters like how the immigrants lower wage costs, as they will work for almost nothing. If food were picked by Italians the prices at the supermarket would probably triple.

Everyone agrees that stemming this tide before they embarked is the answer, but to try and organise Libya? When they can't even organise Italy? Plus there are echoes of colonialism at play here too.

'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 Tue Apr 21st, 2015 at 07:14:47 AM EST
European policy:

  • leave the migrants in the first country of entry
  • do not organize rescue operations so as not to attact more migrants
  • organize a military operation to sink the boats of the people smugglers
  • "stabilize Libya"
  • collect underpants
  • ???
  • profit!

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2015 at 09:20:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Underpants collection is Serious business for Serious people.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2015 at 12:36:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Underpants now on the front page.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2015 at 06:34:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series