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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

You know it's bad when even a former EU commissioner calls for a eurozone break-up

Former Dutch Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkesten is best known for having authored the liberalising EU Services Directive (in its original form before some member states and the EP watered it down significantly) but from today he has another claim to fame - becoming the first former European Commissioner to publicly back a breakup of the euro. Here is what he said to Dutch paper Algemeen Dagblad:
"The Netherlands has to exit the euro as quickly as possible... The monetary union has totally failed. The euro turned out to be a sleeping pill which made Europe doze off instead of thinking about our competitiveness... Let’s stop with the euro and instead strengthen the Single Market... We don't need the euro for that."
As an alternative, Bolkestein - who, it should be said, has long been critical of the current direction of the EU - proposed a currency union formed of economically strong countries, a so-called "Triple A euro". Bolkestein also had some tough words for the European Parliament, arguing that:
"It is not representative anymore for Dutch and European citizens. It lives out a federal fantasy which is no longer sustainable."


jon livesey said...

Truer words never spoken, and so on.

On a related note, Soros today suggested that they way to preserve the euro in its present form is to convert national sovereign debt into euro-bonds up to 60% of GDP.

The euro-zone could try Soros' idea first, and if it is rejected by the rich core countries, then let the rich core countries issue their own AAA-euro.

Average Englishman said...

Well I never; amazing, even an ex EU commissioner can think for himself!
I recall a very sensible lady saying a long time ago that 'you can't buck the market' and some of us have been standing on street corners proclaiming this news for many years, whilst being called luddites or fruitcakes by our 'dear leaders'. The air is thick with the sound of chickens coming home to roost.

Ian Campbell said...

At last some heavy hitters are beginning to say it. Everyone knows that this is the solution and have known it since it stuck its head over the horizon on its way to meet us.

Too bad Maggie did not live to see the day... But now she's dead maybe the federalists will start to admit it.

Rollo said...

Is this the first ever EU official who tells the truth and is in touch with reality? YES.

Denis Cooper said...

"As an alternative, Bolkestein - who, it should be said, has long been critical of the current direction of the EU - proposed a currency union formed of economically strong countries, a so-called "Triple A euro"."


What is this obsession with disallowing nation states from issuing their own national currencies?

Peter van Leeuwen said...

Bolkestein proposed a "parallel currency" for the 3xA countries, next to the euro. He sees this as a possible "plan B", (Mr. Dragi: "no plan B") and expects that this may become necessary within 5 years. He's a very rightwing policitian, not a prophet, but his ideas usually deserve discussion. (link for Dutch audience: http://pauwenwitteman.vara.nl/Fragment-detail.1548.0.html?&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=30226&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=116&cHash=4478892e5dedce78ec67428737116c02)

christina speight said...

Denis - You've got to remember the clause in his pension contract. He can only speak - -"Nil nisi bonum" (correct??) about the EU.

As for promoting an alternative Euro-type for the filthy rich, he has worked in Brussels too long and has to meddle. That's one of the weaknesses/horrors of the EU. It has to find jobs for all these nationals who have been rewarded by being made a Commissioner. They have nothing to do so invent something. "Mischief makes work for idle hands to do".

Anyway as we all say in ubnison - "About time too" Mr Bolkestein

Anonymous said...

For all the alleged advantages of being a member of the customs union it must be emphasised there is still not freedom to trade in services.

Whereas trade in manufactures and food were introduced almost immediately upon our joining the EEC, the activities in which the UK is world leader are still not fully liberalised. Even leaving out the intense nationalism of certain member states and their governments (think France), a number of financial and professional services are still restricted.

Unbalances we might think.

Anonymous said...

That's nice, but why not national currencies (and even better, private currencies) and free trade (not trade union)?