Wrecking Europe to Fix It - by Stephen Lendman
Deepening Eurozone crisis spreads globally.
From inception, Eurozone monetary union was an idea doomed to fail. Nonetheless, it was engineered fraudulently to look workable.
In 1979, Europe's Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) was introduced as part of the European Monetary System (EMS) to propel the continent to one European currency unit (ECU).
ERM never worked. ECU is failing. At issue is duplicity, conflicts of interest, and uniting 17 dissimilar countries under rigid euro straightjacket rules. Doing so usurps their monetary and fiscal autonomy disastrously.
Nonetheless, banking giants partnered with EU, ECB and IMF Troika power decide everything. Policies require lowering living standards, sacking public workers, and selling off state assets lock, stock and barrel at fire sale prices.
Today, the euro corpse only awaits its obituary to be written. Successive bailouts and fixes haven't worked. Troubled Eurozone economies are drowning in debt. Adding more makes bad conditions worse.
So do forced austerity measures, layoffs, and higher working household taxes. Lost purchasing power means less spending, fewer jobs, and greater public anger than today's high levels.
Nonetheless, Germany and France pressured other EU members (except Britain) closer to economic collapse. Sweden, the Czech Republic and Hungary said their parliaments would decide whether or not to agree. Nonetheless, they went along.
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said:
"It's interesting to note that 20 years" to the day after the Maastricht Treaty was drafted, "we have succeeded in creating a more stable foundation for (its) economic and monetary union, and in so doing we've attended to weaknesses that were included in the system."
"I'm very happy with the result," she stressed. Germany becomes an arrogant domineering leader. Britain refused to go along. A new treaty will be drafted. Merkel wants it done by March 2012.
However, it won't be a treaty. On December 13, 2007, the Lisbon Treaty amended Masstricht. EU member unanimity was required to consummate it. The same requirement holds for changes.
All member states must agree. Constitutional changes may be required. In some cases, referendum approval may be needed. Internal divisions could take years to resolve.
At issue is imposing budgetary discipline on member states. Violators face sanctions. The European Court of Justice will have final say over national budgets. Short-term measures to prevent contagion are also planned.
An alternative is two pacts - one for 17 Eurozone countries with restrictions, and a second for the other 10 EU members without them.