After reading an interesting article by Gavin Hewitt at the BBC, I’m left wondering (like everybody else) where the Eurozone is headed? The gist of the piece concerned the Eurosceptics and their pessimism: “we were right all along”. And perhaps they were. When the Eurozone was a fertile and growing ground pre-2008, no questions were asked and more countries like Greece joined. After the financial collapse, things got tricky fast. Greece is being judged for ‘fudging the figures’ but as Hewitt pointed out, both France and Germany broke the rules too, and allowed their deficits to exceed 3% GDP. No one pointed fingers then.
The point is, where does the idea of fiscal union go from here, and should the single currency countries attempt to redouble their belief (beyond lip service) in the idea of a unified Europe? One comment on the message board of the Hewitt article raised an interesting point: “How can you have monetary union without political union also?” A salient point, I think. Who are those in Brussels and how do we connect with them? Why are the leaders in the Eurozone always in a quagmire over the decisions being made on their behalf, or seem like they are continually fighting the notion of unity? Indeed the idea of ‘more Europe,’ if it is to be a healthier reality, has to come from the leadership of the Eurozone nations first, and not the pessimism and disorganization that just reiterate what the sceptics said initially.
There is a huge amount of trust and accountability (and transparency) needed to make a unified Europe more than just a currency – and a floundering one at this point. How can the markets and public react with anything but pessimism when Europe’s leaders do nothing but stoke the fire of distrust and apprehension?