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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Franco-German stand-off over eurozone fiscal rules reaches biblical proportions

In the past month there has been a lot of pushing and shoving over the eurozone's fiscal rules (see here). While renegotiating the Stability and Growth Pact seems off the table, French President François Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi have been calling for more 'flexibility' in the application of eurozone fiscal rules - leading a whole host of German politicians to see red.

Whether or not more flexibility may be granted to member states in the future will in part be decided by the next EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner. As we've pointed out here, the two front runners for the post for the post are French Economy Minister Pierre Moscovici and Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

And Merkel's CDU is not happy about the prospect of Moscovici bagging the job. The party’s budgetary spokesperson Norbert Bartle has told Handelsblatt:
“If you appoint exactly that French Finance Minister [Pierre Moscovici] to the position of the EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner, who has done nothing to comply with the Stability Pact, that is as if you wanted to cast out the demons with Beelzebub." 
Bartle could have stuck to the good old "putting the fox in charge of the hen-house", but when CDU politicians resort to the bible to argue their case (Matthew 12:27), you know it's getting serious.


Anonymous said...

This charade is not going to end anytime soon. I suppose this is one of those "it's about getting there" - although most of the Euroskeptic commenters here (who seem to be vacationing these days) know how is this going to end, best we can do is to laugh at these euro-clowns.

And by the way, one comment for the site: yesterday it finally dawned on me: you have very little pro-EU readers. (I don't remember I've ever seen one pro-EU comment here).
Which is understandable, of coursed those who like the EU like it precisely because it's corrupt, totalitarian and worse. Should it reform in any proper and decent way, it would become meaningless.
So they don't come here, and we who can't stand it do. How long can OE retain its readership without going anti-EU?
Recently I've started thinking about this and I'm now thinking OE should change to anti-EU because arguing for reforms is completely pointless. .

But in any case thank you for the great content and your efforts to bring sanity to this ship of fools.

Average Englishman said...

Essentially, one cannot 'square a circle'. If the French 'Mr. Flexible Interpretation' gets the job then the austerity policy is likely to be watered down and the Euro is back on the road to crisis. However, if the Dutch 'Mr. Strict Interpretation' gets the job then the Southern states and (increasingly France) can look forward to years more stagnation, unemployment and general grief.

It boils down to the desire of Germany and the northern states to see the Southern countries become good thrifty types like the Germans and the desire of the Southern states to continue the rather laid back approach to financial compliance of all sorts that has been their tradition.

So, turn Greeks into good Germans or Germans into naughty Greeks - in financial terms of course. How about the Greeks, Italians, etc., doing what is best for their economy and the Germans doing what is best for their's and then everyone trading together in a Common Market? Sounds like a plan that would work to me but common sense won't get in the way of the EUSSR now will it?

Sheona said...

Moscovici was not a great success as Hollande's Finance Minister, so there seems to good reason to appoint him as anything. Merkel is correct in her statement that the is no point in having an anti-fiscal policy man in charge of fiscal policy. Typical French attempt to swing things their way.

John L D said...

Norbert Bartle, or his translator, is obviously unfamiliar with the English saying, 'throw out the baby with the bathwater' and with the standard English translation, 'cast out the demons by Beelzebub'. Using 'with' instead of 'by' gives a very different meaning to the one intended.

One would never say 'I swear with 'God' nor 'I write by a pen'. Prepositions are trick things to translate. Perhaps this is why so many speeches in the European Parliament are devoid of the subtleties that can make dreary subjects interesting and without which interesting subjects sound dreary.

R Davis said...

Franco-German Biblical Operatic Ensemble.
My word darlings, it is positively medieval.
An enclave of geriatric, ambiance, flouncing about in charge of the well being of Europe.
Beloved brethren,if thou wilt return, and if thou wilt put away thine abominations, out of my sight, then thou shalt not be removed.
And thou shalt swear, in truth, in judgement, in righteousness, and the nations shall bless themselves in thy glory.
For it is thus spoken; Break up your fallow ground, and sow not amongst thorns.
The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant.
Run ye to and fro through the streets and, see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if you can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgement, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon him.

Borrowed from Jeremiah.4..only because it sounds so profound, and appropriate mind.
What else can I tell you.