Euro crisis: “Slithering to the wrong kind of union”

A number of people point to the warning by Otmar Issing in the Financial Times that the measures eurozone leaders have agreed in response to the continuing euro debt crisis “is not a move in the direction of a true political union. It is a dangerous step, and one which will end up dividing Europe.”

From the FT article

The idea that a new European process to transfer taxpayers’ money that is neither democratic nor governed by principles that support fiscal solidity would move in the direction of political union is totally misleading.

Emu is based on rules enshrined in international treaties. The euro was created as a “depoliticised currency” – its stability entrusted to an independent central bank with a clear mandate to maintain price stability. Any attempt to “save” monetary union via agreements which transfer sovereignty to a European level, where violations of fundamental treaties have become a regular event, lacks any logic. In the end it will only further alienate the people from Europe itself.

A monetary union with a stable euro can only survive if central bank independence is fully respected. This implies that the European Central Bank abstains from fiscal policy actions. Yet to change the “no bail-out” clause ever more in the direction of a bail-out regime is not a step towards a democratically-legitimised political union. It is a move on a slippery road to a regime of fiscal indiscipline drowning hitherto solid countries in the morass of over-indebtedness.

This type of political union would not survive. Its collapse would be brought by resistance from the people. In the past cries of “no taxation without representation” have brought war. This time the consequence would be to threaten the collapse of the most successful project of economic integration in the history of mankind.

And he’s a supporter of the “European Project”…

If not, necessarily, the shrinkage of politics…