Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Euroskepticism in the Heart of Europe

Chris Bickerton has a smart piece on the European crisis. Although there has been much talk of the need for new supranational institutions to manage an economy that can no longer be managed at the national level, there is little enthusiasm anywhere for actually building such institutions. Germany has increasingly become a Euroskeptic country. The idea of "European government" so spooked Gordon Brown that he suggested using the term "governance" instead. Bickerton comments: "The final declaration, in true European spirit of compromise, made reference to both terms: governance in the English text, gouvernement in the French."

For Chris,

The outcome of the crisis will be an expansion in the powers of EU in the matter of fiscal supervision. The European Commission is fighting hard at the moment to make sure that it wins the right to send its officials into the ministries of high-spending member states. When Sarkozy and Merkel speak of “economic government”, they mean greater powers of regulation and oversight drawn up by finance ministers and implemented by Commission officials.

The good news is that Greece is not, in Chris's view, on the verge of civil war: "Public opposition to the government’s austerity measures is vastly out-weighed by public support for the cuts," he writes.

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