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On the Birth of a New Europe?

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

Jn. 12, 24

The crisis in the Eurozone that has been dragging on for some six months now, is not yet over. The paralysis of the EU is clear to all. China, quite naturally, like Germany, quite naturally, has refused to bail out the bankrupt Eurozone. Now a key architect of the whole disaster, the Social Democrat Jacques Delors, former President of the European Commission, has admitted what we all said at the time, that the Eurozone was flawed from the beginning and that ‘a fault in execution’ had doomed the euro to its present crisis. Moreover, as he added, the efforts to tackle its problems have so far been ‘too little too late’.

No-one needed to have been an economist or politician to predict all this. It was all a matter of common sense, as we have said for years. Originally, in the 1990s, it was declared that National Debt (now called ‘Sovereign Debt’) would have to be less than 60% of GDP if any country were to adopt the euro. This condition was wavered when it was realised that neither Belgium, nor Italy, nor many other countries would then be able to qualify. Indeed, at one point even Germany would not have qualified. Such was the urgency of the politicians to ‘build Europe’, ignoring common sense national, historical, political, economic and fiscal realities, that they deliberately turned a blind eye to auditing the national accounts of countries like Greece and Italy, which were notorious for concealing their debts.

It was quite clear at the end of the 1990s that there could never be a single currency if there were not a single political and fiscal entity – political union. As Delors has only now admitted, when ‘Anglo-Saxons’ warned that a single central bank and currency without a single state was impossible, ‘they had a point’, and at the time, ‘the finance ministers did not want to see anything disagreeable which they would be forced to deal with’. Today, we have the result of a currency union without a political and fiscal union

It is true that today there may be five countries, Germany, France and Benelux, which may be willing to merge into a political and fiscal union. That is what the French President (‘Merkozy’, as the French call him) and the German Chancellor are to discuss. Delors has at last admitted that the euro’s troubles spring from ‘a combination of the stubbornness of the Germanic idea of monetary control and the absence of a clear vision from all the other countries’. What could that vision be?

It is clear that two Europes are now emerging. On the one hand, there is the original Carolingian heartland, formed by what in history were the East Franks (Germany) and the West Franks (France) and their near colonies in Benelux. If these countries want to commit to what is in effect a Greater Germany, an ‘Economic German (and not ‘Holy Roman’) Empire’, with an effective political and economic capital in Berlin, so be it. (There will be plenty in Germany, let alone in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, who will not want this).

But then there are the other 12 nations at present in the Eurozone, the 10 that never have been members of the Eurozone and the rest of Europe, whose peoples have never wanted to be in the EU anyway. Apart from the min-states of Liechtenstein, Andorra, San Marino, Monaco and the Vatican City, we would include: Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Moldova, Belarus, the Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Georgia and Armenia. What ‘clear vision’ could there be for these countries, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific?

For them we again suggest not an Empire - a miserable invention of previous centuries that in the last century finally led to two great European, and then World, Wars. We suggest a Free European Confederation of Sovereign Nations, countries at peace, working, trading and living together, complementing each other with raw materials, industry, agriculture, finance, trade and technology. From the Isles of the North Atlantic, Iceland and the British Isles, to Scandinavia, Mediterranean Europe, the Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe and Russia, this would be a real Europe.

Such a Europe, north, south, east and west, would be outside the new, top-down and dictatorial Carolingian construct of ‘Europe’, which we believe doomed to failure just like the Eurozone and Charlemagne’s original model. Let us learn from the mistakes of history. Such a Free European Confederation of Sovereign Nations could provide the very vision for what is now needed.

20 November/3 December 2011
Forefeast of the Entrance of the Mother of God
St Edmund, King and Martyr

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