Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Still More Europessimism: Elmbrant Sees a "European Tea Party"

This uncertainty indicates that Europe today is barely political. What we are seeing is not the formation of a European super state, as the eurosceptics warned of not long ago, but an increasingly unsteady and weak union. "The atmosphere in Europe is one of total demoralization", according to José Ignacio Torreblanca of the European Council on Foreign Relations. The euro crisis makes this obvious: a steady stream of new solutions, retracted after a few days and replaced by new, billion-euro improvisations that contravene treaties, regulations and previous announcements.
That is why I believe that the euro system will collapse, as a consequence of a popular revolt by a European kind of Tea Party movement consisting of well-off Germans, Dutch and Finns unwilling to pay for the countries in debt. But also by the fact that Greeks, Irish and Portuguese won't accept being forced into a straightjacket of poverty by their patronizing guardians in the north. Unfortunately this might be a long and painful process, since a great deal of political prestige has been invested the monetary union. But the tensions between North and South, elite and popular currents, are too strong to just go back to business as usual.

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