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Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

February 7, 2014
by James Clive-Matthews
3 Comments

What are the implications of the German Constitutional Court’s OMT ruling?

The ruling – which happened only in the last few minutes – likely means that, until the European Court of Justice has made a final ruling (which could take months/years), the European Central Bank will be prevented from bailing out … Continue reading

January 21, 2014
by James Clive-Matthews
2 Comments

How have the Euro and austerity affected economic recovery?

It’s an important question in a European Parliament election year – especially one where many seem to be planning on punishing the EU for the perceived failures of its leadership and conception during the Eurocrisis (even though, y’know, the European … Continue reading

July 14, 2012
by James Clive-Matthews
26 Comments

Why the UK’s “audit” of EU law is a waste of time

So, supposedly in a bid to allow any future in-out referendum on UK membership of the EU to be based on facts rather than ideology (fat chance), Foreign Secretary William Hague has announced an “audit” of the influence of EU … Continue reading

June 19, 2012
by James Clive-Matthews
3 Comments

The eurocrisis: Politics without policy choice

This piece on Crooked Timber really is superb. A few highlights – but do read it in full: “the fuzzy compromise between supposedly depoliticized trans-national rules (run by the ECB), and national-level responsibility for compliance, is now increasingly problematic. Countries … Continue reading

June 14, 2012
by James Clive-Matthews
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A rare non-hyperbolic take on the likelihood of a Grexit

Good stuff from European economics think tank Bruegel: “Commentators, especially from North America, take it for granted that Greece will exit the euro area and will be followed by others… But is a Greek exit really inevitable? “…If we look … Continue reading

June 12, 2012
by James Clive-Matthews
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Excellent teacherly putdown in this post from thinktank Bruegel’s blog:

“Europe has already expressed its intention to focus [the upcoming G20 summit] on growth and jobs; the deliverable should foreseeably be yet another ‘plan’ without specific deadlines or commitments, along the lines of previous summit discussions. Growth and jobs are obviously fine in principle, but adopting such broad focus is likely to divert attention from the immediate challenges and even more from the actions to be undertaken. It is a pity, because Europe, while being ultimately responsible for its own actions, badly needs to explain itself and convince the global community that it is doing its best to resolve its problems.”

Reads like many a school report*: “It is a pity… Must try harder… We wouldn’t mind if it were only himself this behaviour was affecting, but he’s disrupting the whole class…” (etc. etc. etc.)

* Not one of mine, obviously… *ahem*

June 12, 2012
by James Clive-Matthews
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An American view of Europe the UK would be sensible to note

Once again, no one knows what’s going to happen – yet everyone knows it’s going to be bad. This from The Atlantic makes some good points amidst the “eurogeddon” worst-case scenario act – but this time from an American perspective, … Continue reading

June 11, 2012
by James Clive-Matthews
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A terrifying but promising sign

Oh, sure, it sounds terrifying at first: “European finance officials have discussed limiting the size of withdrawals from ATM machines, imposing border checks and introducing euro zone capital controls as a worst-case scenario should Athens decide to leave the euro” … Continue reading

June 9, 2012
by James Clive-Matthews
2 Comments

Good pessimistic (realistic?) piece from Der Spiegel:

“The next stage in the crisis will be blatant blackmail. With their refusal to accept money from the bailout fund to recapitalize their banks, the Spanish are not far from causing the entire system to explode. They clearly figure that the Germans will lose their nerve and agree to rehabilitate their banks for them without demanding any guarantee in return that things will take a lasting turn for the better.

“The next test of the resolution of Europe’s donor nations will come from the Greeks… after the election on June 17, the Greeks will bargain with the other EU countries to see what it’s worth to them to see Greece abandon the euro. The Greeks no longer have much to lose; but their EU neighbors — and particularly the Germans — still do. This discrepancy will determine the price to be paid.

“Germans have always expected that being part of a united Europe meant that national interests would recede into the background until they eventually lost all significance. One recognizes in this hope the legacy of political romanticism.”

June 8, 2012
by James Clive-Matthews
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Yeah – sounds like a piece of piss…

“Jörg Asmussen, a member of the European Central Bank’s executive board and a former official at the German ministry of finance, outlined what Europe needs to do.

“‘It’s very simple,’ Mr. Asmussen said. ‘We need a more integrated monetary union, because the monetary area that we have now is incomplete. And we have to complement it in a way to make it more stable. One point is a fiscal union. The second one is a financial market union with three key elements: a resolution regime; second element, a deposit guarantee insurance; and third, we need a centralized supervision for the large 25 banks in Europe.”

“‘We need a democratically legitimized political union,’ he added. ‘We need to start this speedily.'”

Well that’s alright, then. Should be doable by the end of next week, I’d say.