Euro crisis: When “earth’s proud empires pass away”…

Andrew Roberts in the FT with a little touch of cold realism on the Euro crisis. He also picks out the underlying political and economic problem here, and advises the EU to prepare for a big bang he argues springs from a federalist overreach of the original Treaty of Rome that never fitted such an enlarged area:

…here we are in the endgame, and it is certainly not all right. Greece has now lost almost a quarter of its gross domestic product in five years; foreign companies sweep their cash out of the country before close of business every night; Greek banks have lost almost half their deposits as people camp outside cashpoints; political extremism is on the rise on both right and left, and there are even reports of Dickensian diseases appearing in parts of Athens that did not have slums before but do now.

The testament of history is so often witness to the hubris-nemesis phenomenon that it is worth repeating, since there is a way out of this for Angela Merkel, François Hollande and a few others, though not many. If Napoleon had stayed one day in Moscow, rather than a month, and returned to Vilnius before the frost descended, there might be a Bonaparte on the throne of France today. If the Ottomans had stayed neutral or joined the Allies in 1914, the Caliph might still be reigning in Istanbul. Nothing is inevitable if empires do not overstretch.

Germany and France should, therefore, in as orderly and honourable a way as they can, return to the safety and the rationality of the original Treaty of Rome, reinstitute the “six”, and keep the euro only for those countries that deserve membership on the logical grounds of genuine economic synergy. These are utterly removed from the commission’s hubristic fetish of global hegemony.

Of course, history is more reliably written after rather than before the fact… But it’s a much clearer criticism of the anti democracy of the whole EU project than anything emerging from the No side in the Irish Referendum…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty