Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bad Sign?

The meeting of Eurozone finance ministers in advance of Wednesday's double summit has been canceled. Good sign? Bad sign? With Europe's fluid decision-making structure, it's hard to tell. Since the primary action here is between France and Germany, the real negotiating is no doubt going on elsewhere anyway. Berlusconi is pretending (?) to sleep through meetings anyway, while others attempt to force him to take their concerns seriously. I suppose it's no more chaotic than what passes for high-level debate in the US. We have our Gang of 6, so Europe can have its Gang of 2, 3, or 4 in lieu of the full 27 (or is it 17 that count when it comes to the euro?). What will transpire tomorrow is undoubtedly the most significant European decision of recent years, yet the people of Europe will have almost no say in the outcome. To be sure, the issues are highly technical, and there has been much public discussion of alternatives, but what actually happens will come down to the will of two individuals: Merkel and Sarkozy. Yet 400+ million people will have to live with the consequences.

Toute la construction européenne depuis 1945 est en jeu. Le sujet est politique. Nicolas Sarkozy s'inquiète de la faible conscience qu'en ont ses concitoyens."Notre destin se joue dans les dix jours", a-t-il lancé, le 18 octobre, à l'Elysée, parlant de guerre et de paix, comme jadis le chancelier Helmut Kohl (1982-1998)."Ceux qui détruiront l'euro prendront la responsabilité de la résurgence de conflits sur notre continent", a-t-il averti.