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Tuesday 25 October 2011

Verity Murphy | 14:04 UK time, Tuesday, 25 October 2011

The Polish presidency of the EU has confirmed that key meetings between the bloc's 27 finance ministers and the 17-nation eurozone will not now meet on Wednesday, although a full emergency heads-of-government summit will happen.

On the programme Paul Mason and our guests will be assessing what this means, how much of a hitch this is, and what hope remains that a rescue deal will be announced.

The day after he suffered the biggest rebellion against a Conservative prime minister over Europe, Prime Minister David Cameron says there is no bitterness towards Tory MPs who voted for a referendum over the UK's membership of the EU.

David Grossman reports tonight on who did back the motion, why they did and what the long term fallout will be.

We have a second film from Fergal Keane, this time looking what role corruption has played in sowing the seeds for a food crisis which has left its people starving.

Plus Jeremy will be speaking to cult film director David Cronenberg, known for films including The Fly, Crash and Eastern Promises, who is in town promoting his latest cinematic offering and to receive a BFI Fellowship at the London Film Festival.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    :o) Wow, certainly look forward to Jeremy's interview with Cronenburg tonight!
    Other sources state that the "British PM weakened in EU after revolt within own party"
    http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15484994,00.html
    (He KNOWS that the majority of the British people want OUT of the EU....well they know what to do next time......vote UKIP!)

  • Comment number 2.

    The EU is such an operational mess that a big treaty amendment or succession of amendments is on its way?

    Scenario 1

    Germany to favour ECB being given new powers to print Trillions of euros rather than German tax payer footing unlimited bail out bills?

    This floats the Euro & devalues the currency & Germany & France to pull strings behind scenes to decide who will get the newly printed euros - how where & when & what is asked for (like demanded) in return, from countries like Italy & PIIGS?

    Germany to favour update of Maastrict treaty & rules on national debt lending, financial transactions & VAT?

    Germany & France invite PIIGS to leave Euro in return for writing off large tranches of their sovereign debts and some inducements for their leaving the new super-state Eurozone?

    Result is an anti-City of London European super state operating the Euro under strict revised Maastrict Treaty rules of which the UK is immediately in breach?

    New Treaty conditions trigger EU & Scootish Independence referenda in UK & Scotland & France & Germany invite UK/Scotland to join Euro & comply with revised Maastrict Treaty conditions or leave the EU?

    Final result is UK/Scotland forced out of EU as unable to comply with revised Maastrict Treaty requirements on e.g. national debts or be elligible for any of the newly printed Euros?

    What makes anyone think that UK/Scotland will have an option(s) to stay in or leave the EU - IMO, the UK/Scotland is/are likely to be forced out, during the next round of Treaty negotiations as the price for Britain's membership becomes unacceptable high due to new Maastrict Treaty requirements & taxes on e.g. Financial transactions to be imposed by ECB & collected & spent by EU.

  • Comment number 3.

    What I want to know about last night's vote is just how many Labour MP's defied Miliband, could be useful to know their names as well for future reference ?

  • Comment number 4.

    @3 If you follow this link and scroll up, you will see who voted and in which way:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm111024/debtext/111024-0004.htm#1110251000001

    Some serial Labour rebels didn't, on this occasion.

    or follow this link and scroll down if you want to read who said what:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm111024/debtext/111024-0002.htm#1110247000001

  • Comment number 5.

    Fergal Keane interviewing Dabney Tonelli of Chayton Capital last night did not challenge her when she asserted that although her company's industrial farming would indeed result in major losses of low-skilled (i.e manual) farming jobs, "re-training" would enable growth in other areas.

    This is precisely the silver forked-tongued nonsense which Libertarians trot out. They assert, contrary to all the evidence, that people are infinitely plastic, even when they have genes which dictate this is not so.

    The mean IQ of sub-Sahara Africa is around 70, meaning that these countries have lots of low-skilled labour, and precious little else.
    Just to make the point clearer, one can not raise this ability through re-training (education).

    Now, Dabney may not know this, but I suggest that is a very convenient failure of her comprehension, and it a failure which one finds amongst Libertarians everywhere. They use this failure to close their eyes to what they do - which is deceive and exploit.

  • Comment number 6.

    'Paul Mason and our guests will be assessing what this means'

    Guests who?

    '3. At 18:37 25th Oct 2011, brossen99 wrote:
    What I want to know about last night's vote is just how many Labour MP's defied Miliband


    Seems not over-relevant, assessing-wise. Apparently.

  • Comment number 7.

    brossen99 wrote: "What I want to know about last night's vote is just how many Labour MP's defied Miliband, could be useful to know their names as well for future reference ?"

    It doesn't matter much, they no doubt arrange it so some to vote against just to make it appear democratic. The vote meant little. Theatrics.
    Even when votes are real, it is just a majority that matters and in the end the THREE parties are pretty much the same when compared to alternative forms of governance, and those are ALWAYS kept way off the radar so we don't see the contrast and lack of real choice here.

  • Comment number 8.

    CON-DESCENDING DAVE "FEELS NO BITTERNESS - NO RANCOUR"

    Why should he? Gall is his primary essence.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/gall

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 9.

    MINUTE ANALYSIS OF RIOTERS AND LOOTERS IS ESSENTIAL NEWS APPARENTLY

    From the details emerging, of inside leg measurements and finger-nail cleanliness, of street rioter/looters, might it not be reasonable to have parallel STATISTICS FOR LOOTER MPs? Age, majority, voting record, PARTY etc?

    Thought not.

  • Comment number 10.

    Oh dear, Zerohedge hits it on the head why the Eurozone leveraged bail-out is one giant sham that will not fix anything. Hope Paul touches upon this tonight - it is all smokin' mirrors.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-facts-don%E2%80%99t-equal-conclusion-europe

  • Comment number 11.

    it was the usual suspects, Skinner, all the lefties, it's horrible really, the left being associated in the same lobby as the swivel eyed nutjobs from the rump of the right wing Tory party, we want different things of course, they do not want a federal superstate as they see it, they also want to slash the benefits the workers may get from a decent EU protection of workers rights and better job security whereas Skinners mob always supected that it was a bosses club that cannot publish accounts and will not put anyone up for elections, i.e. no Lisbon treaty, which makes Cameron and Ed Milly out on a limb, it will have to be addressed...one day...

  • Comment number 12.

    Time for a bit of Shakespeare - To be, or not to be (from Hamlet 3/1)

    "To be, or not to be: that is the question:
    Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
    No more; and by a sleep to say we end
    The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks"

    Question - The Euro to be worthless or just devalued?

  • Comment number 13.

    Poor Bagpuss!!!!!
    Jeremy with Rees-Mogg & Kennedy was the best :o)

  • Comment number 14.

    Outstanding interview by Jeremy with David Cronenberg
    I suspect Cronenberg was referring to the Daniel Pearl beheading (it can be found in full on the net)..... I have to say that I wasn't particularly horrified by it, because we have all seen horror films and are so desensitized to it, it does not give the same impact as it once might have had. Sad but true.

  • Comment number 15.

    SOMEONE TELL JEREMY GRATUITOUS RUDENESS IS NOT GRAVITAS

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 16.

    FROM WHERE DID KENYA GET ITS MODEL OF APPALLING BEHAVIOUR IN HIGH PLACES?

    The idea of a country's government selling off the means to withstand future natural stress, is hard to credit. It would be like UK SELLING OFF HER UTILITIES and thereafter watching the old die of cold and hunger.

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 17.

    CLEGGWATCH

    Nick still has the sign up, when Dave is at the dispatch box.

    "NO CONNECTION WITH THE BUSINESS NEXT DOOR."

    Nick does no affirmative nodding, and finds the 'middle distance' of the Chamber-pot, of absorbing interest.

    I wonder when he will SPOILPARTYGAMES?

  • Comment number 18.

    Paul Flynn MP (in the past a serial rebel, though not on this occasion) intervened during a recent Commons debate on the use of Ritalin:

    "Had the young Mozart been on Ritalin and the young Beethoven been on anti-depressants, we would probably never have heard of them. Does my right hon. Friend agree that trying to drug children into conformity and uniformity is the enemy of creativity?

    He subsequently commented on his blog that "Had the Tories backbench MP yesterday been on Ritalin they would have all obeyed Cameron's whip."

    http://paulflynnmp.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/10/ritalin-rules.html

  • Comment number 19.

    tawse57 @ 10

    It is true, as the writer at hedgezero pointed out -we in Europe do not have an MF to deal with this, instead we have the uneasy alliance of 'Merkozy'.

    In theory, the relevant EU institutions should be able to face down the markets by virtue (sic) of the ability to electronically print infinite amounts of euros.

    However, at this stage, the political will to commit to that course is not there.

    It is going to get very choppy indeed and nobody really knows how it will end.

  • Comment number 20.

    Sasha Clarkson quoted: "Paul Flynn MP (in the past a serial rebel, though not on this occasion) intervened during a recent Commons debate on the use of Ritalin:

    "Had the young Mozart been on Ritalin and the young Beethoven been on anti-depressants, we would probably never have heard of them. Does my right hon. Friend agree that trying to drug children into conformity and uniformity is the enemy of creativity?"

    Aren't "Friends" (Quakers) Non-conformists, i.e anarchists? Weren't they once regarded as enemies of the state? They certainly worked to undermine the eugenics movement in the 1930s (Hogben and Penrose). Did they consider that unlike Fisher, they may have been working as well-meaning, but incredibly vain "useful idiots", and to all our long term cost?

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/10/24/uk-population-decline-idUKTRE79N6RZ20111024

    Ill-informed people still appear to be promoting anarchism as "creativity" in the classroom. If the frequency of ADHD is 1/20, what effect do you think these untreated (under aroused internally) "creative" pupils' behaviour has on lesson delivery for the others?

    The reason why Ritalin is on the increase is because this class of SEN appears to be on the increase. ADHD also appears to be genetic - it is also co-morbid with other problem behaviours such as Oppositional Defiance and Conduct Disorder which for some develop into Anti Social Personality Disorder. Some physically grow out of it so quite rightly efforts are made not to diagnose it too early. But School Action Plus and School Action have grown dramatically in recent times, as has crime and the prison population. Why, given our population has not grown dramatically?

    On the other hand, for some, similar working drugs (they work a bit like cocaine in action, re-uptake blockers) don't work as a palliative as some naively think.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/what-if-the-drugs-dont-work-2375337.html

  • Comment number 21.

    Furthermore, IMHO, the biggest mistake that EU policymakers are making at present is to put a number on the amount of the bailout.

    1Tn, 2Tn , 4Tn euros - whatever.

    The markets need to believe that they are facing an infinite source of euros, which, in theory, they are.

    That simply needs to become the practice, then some sort of stability can return (in the short term), giving the necessary breathing space for structural reforms by the eurozone countries.

  • Comment number 22.

    The 'markets' are not some amorphous entity, they are composed of real people, bankers, traders, hedgies et al, whose job is to make a profit for their institution.

    Possible wider consequences of their actions, for example, a total meltdown of the eurozone, throwing millions of people out of work (including here in England), are not their immediate concern.

    That is how the system currently works, which can be very destructive, as a possible eurozone collapse would brutally demonstrate and, in fact, would rebound on some of those workers in finance, as reduced economic activity would also cause some of them to lose their jobs.

    In that sense, the financial market system may be flawed and require some adjustment.

  • Comment number 23.

    As Mutti has just been saying, a key reason for this crisis was the lack of proper oversight and control of Eurozone member countries (including France and Germany), which has allowed some of them to run out huge debts.

    Much tighter control over profligate Eurozone Governments will surely ensue.

  • Comment number 24.

    As Paul Mason pointed out on NN last night, there is, prima facie, an anomaly in all this EU "crisis" is there not? . Given the system is supposedly Libertarian and that means leaving value to the markets, why are governments interfering?

    Why does the BBC keep stoking the flames of panic in this (as it seems to me) US engineered EU Project "crisis", i.e. by talking about gross sovereign debt at the neglect of BALANCE of payments? For example, today we see over a trillion of Italian debt mentioned, but not the shortfall against their revenue. Their debt is 118% of GDP which is not good but it's not as damning as that of the USA in absolute size. Countries borrow money just as house purchasers and businesses borrow, but they also generate revenue to pay back their principal and the interest charged on the loans. Like many companies and "householders", nations run up deficits, look at the USA, 14 trillion or more. The USA is only about 5 x the size of Italy demographically so why is all the focus now on Europe? Some of these are rhetorical questions.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Italy

    It's almost as if we are seeing a lot of non free-market, i.e "fascist"
    or corporatist jiggery-pokery to try to establish fiscal union across Europe through fear. This is led by the USA's main European proxy, Germany, which seems to be at behest of the Wall Street NGOs. Is this because the USA couldn't get this political/military union agreed "democratically" by France and Holland in 2005? France is statist/socialist at heart. In the past, French Indo-China learned from France how to go socialist, as did Marx and Engels (with a bit of help from our Fabians). So is this why France now has a USA (Wall Street) leaning Libertarian/Thatcherite in post, i.e in order to scupper any efforts which France might have to obstruct this "fascist" project via its socialist party?

    Question: does Europe want a "fascist" i.e Corporatist Libertarian Constitution and union given the dire demographic consequences (see birth rates) everywhere where it is adopted?

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/10/24/uk-population-decline-idUKTRE79N6RZ20111024

    Has this not been mentioned before?

  • Comment number 25.

    As ordinary people, our view can only be from 'the plains', as opposed to 'the foothills' ala minor ex-politician Chris Mullins.

    That means we have a very constricted view of what is happening out there and consequently allows various conspiracy theories to flourish amongst our fellow proles.

    Even the journalists such as the excellent Paul Mason and the legendary Robert Peston can only really grub around at the margins, picking up a few crumbs that the policymakers deign to cast their way.

    Probably time for us proles to hunker down yet again.

    It is only prudent.

  • Comment number 26.

    zerohedge is regarded as a joke. they have an agenda. no one should believe them and only read it for fun.

  • Comment number 27.

    NOT ONLY IS SMALL NOW, CLEARLY, BEAUTIFUL - GLOBAL IS PROVED UNATTAINABLE.

    If I am wrong here, someone please take issue:

    I assert that Ape-based visceral Man is obsessed with status, power and size. In a small group this can be an advantage, so long as competition is brute PHYSICAL.

    The quiescent period of climate has allowed transportation to flourish; add rampant communication, and the whole thing has ballooned BEYOND THE SCOPE OF HUMAN MENTALITY. Competition is now technological and psychological.

    All the above discussion, of trying to get to global stability, is futile. We should be putting recently advanced understanding of ourselves, into UNDOING THE ERROR OF CENTURIES.

    Sadly, the cipher-ninnies of Westminster (their 'Day of Altruism' spent) cannot grasp the truth of this. They are PRE-SELECTED for limited competence and a narrow band of focus.

    Meanwhile RIOT CEREBRALLY - it helps to pass the time.

  • Comment number 28.

    Browndog wrote @24 :

    "It's almost as if we are seeing a lot of non free-market, i.e "fascist"
    or corporatist jiggery-pokery to try to establish fiscal union across Europe through fear"

    Isn't that the plan anyways!

    'Slackers are stifling the economy': PM told to allow bosses to sack lazy workers

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2053546/Lazy-workers-sacked-explanation-government-told.html#ixzz1bt4H7Eiq

    My prays may be getting heard ...finally. The inability to sack useless staff due to over protection of employees has been a nightmare for business and other staff who do pull their weight. And if paternity leave -and as well as maternity leave -ever gets scrapped, I'd be the happiest man alive. Well, I'd be the second happiest man alive as George Soros always looks the happiest man alive...he looks like a punter who always wins at the races. Keep smiling George, those billions ain't gonna stop that body clock of yours...organ failure will kick in one day old buddy, and what will the democrat party do without your gifts and donations eh eh George!..whose gonna pick the next President George when your gone. ooh nearly got on one there..sorry about that

  • Comment number 29.

    DISCUSSIONS RE EMPLOYMENT IN THE AGE OF PERVERSITY (#28)

    On radio, I heard concern voiced, that a new boss might not get on with an established employee, and so sack him. I seem to remember King David did something similar (in terms of the times). Plus ca change . . .

    We seem to want to live a life free of all aspects of - er - LIVING A LIFE.

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 30.

    Oh the Chinese are a very clever people......

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2053558/China-introduces-new-laws-cutback-number-reality-TV-shows.html

    ...wonder if it will ever catch on here?

  • Comment number 31.

    If Kaletsky in the Times today says that what is required is for the ECB to provide an unlimited central bank safety net, then that is good enough for me.

    He goes on to point out that only the ECB can bridge the gap between the day-to-day market demands of financial markets and bank depositors and the political and legal timetable to implement the necessary reforms, which are measured in months and years.

    The need to combine joint responsibility for public borrowing with central control of tax and spending is the essence of EU fiscal federalism and goes hand-in-hand with political union and privides the opportunity to turn a massive crisis into an opportunity for EU policymakers.

    If there is not the political will to make that happen - then Mutti, Sarkozy and many others, including Cameron and Osborne, will be toast.

  • Comment number 32.

    ALTRUISM IN GOVERNANCE - WHILE PARTY POLITICS ENDURE? NEVER (#30)

    The moment the in-power party attempts to take away any coloured beads from the ignorant savages that Westminster has created, with educationX3, destruction of motherhood and promotion of alcohol-dependence, the opportunistic 'Loyal Opposition' (and the scruple-free press) leap in to 'protect our freedoms'.

    I assert (yet again) that if governance was comprised of mature, respectable-and-respected, individuals of standing in the community, we could turn these islands into a haven of sanity, stability and life-competence - a beacon of good, radiating to the world. NO BOMBS REQUIRED. But first, as the above makes abundantly clear, we have to

    SPOILPARTYGAMES

  • Comment number 33.

    EU Euro Zone Mess

    EFSF and IMF bailout is a temporary fix , in more ways than one.
    By 2013 , with treaty changes, the ESM (EZ fledgling Treasury) is suppose to take over such support for such distressed Euro Zone economies. But fixing the Euro Zone problem will take a long time to achieve , as the fundamental problems are the differing levels of productivity within that currency zone and the disconnect between the politics of economic reality in some of these EZ members.

    I came across a video explaining one view of the ESM. I can not vouch for anything it says, so take from it as much or as little as you like.

    Coalition Government (Ode to Joy)

    I am not surprised that the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have different objectives over our relationship with the EU.

    The whole issue is a mess and should be put to the people to sort out once and for all.

    I see there is another petition for another referendum debate.

  • Comment number 34.

    BRITISH JUSTICE - BEST IN THE WORLD

    PROSECUTING BARRISTER: "You squeezed and squeezed and squeezed"

    JUDGE (directing jury): "You must not allow emotion into your judgement."

    Is it me?

  • Comment number 35.

    #19

    “In theory, the relevant EU institutions should be able to face down the markets by virtue (sic) of the ability to electronically print infinite amounts of euros.

    However, at this stage, the political will to commit to that course is not there.”

    Have you considered that Germany maybe more Austrian School Economics than Keynesian School ?

    It may explain why Germany is so reluctant to let the ECB print and instead is insisting that the EFSF or ESM is used to save the distressed economies, combined with very strong structural reforms of these members economies.

    I don't even believe that Germany as a minimum wage law.

    I feel it would be very enlightening to have a series of programmes dissecting the German economy success. What is the mindset of employee ,employer , union and government relationship , how do they work together so well.

  • Comment number 36.

    Steve-London @ 33

    As you say, the fundamental problems are the differing levels of productivity within that currency zone and the disconnect between the politics of economic reality in some of these ...

    And so, what are the Feds going to do about the wildly differing levels of productivity between say, California and West Virginia?

    Or the disconnect between the economics of political reality amongst those States that are home to Munis that are now declaring themselves bankrupt.

    What I really mean, to point out, of course, is America has had these problems for a long time across its 'currency union' (the formal dollar zone) and the challenge for Europes' policymakers is to raise their game to the historic bar set by the USA.

  • Comment number 37.

    #36
    I agree.
    But a bit like Ron Paul, I suspect the Germans do not want the ECB developing the US Feds worse habits.
    I wonder if we could hire some German economists to sit on the BoE MPC ;)

  • Comment number 38.

    35.At 14:36 26th Oct 2011, Steve-London wrote:
    #19

    The allies re-construected the german constitution at the end of WW2 and Germany has not wasted Trillions of £'s on wars since WW2 as concentrating on its economy, instead.

    Germany is surreptitiously protectionist in every way & has not had a rotten sell out establishment selling all of its main domestic assets to foreign investors which as e.g wrecked the UK economy.

    Germany has a healthy relationship with its Trade Unions & has not allowed them to unduly imbalance their domestic politics with political funding etc or embarass the German nation with 60 years of strikes & disputes as not giving the Germans a lazy international reputation.

    Germany is cleverly 'nationalistic' & puts its own peoples first in terms of nationality & fair play & has a teutonic language that not everyone wants to learn unless to work/trade with Germany.

    Germany value education & has superior constitution, culture, political & fair educational processes & is modern in outlook.

    German business is not based on them & us & is collaborative & not as confrontational as in the UK.

    Many many reason why Germans doing better then e.g. UK generally & why UK will never be a cohesive, one nation state, like Germany where its citizens have no hang ups demonstrating support & allegiance towards their German state & national identity.

    Auf wiedersehen!

  • Comment number 39.

    WHAT SKILLS DO THEY BRING TO A SITUATION NEVER BEFORE ENCOUNTERED?

    Though I have no doubt UK politics is an extremist branch of the true faith, I suspect the strutting panjandrums now meeting to address the Gordian Knot of financial chaos, HAVE NOT AN OUNCE OF RELEVANT COMPETENCE BETWEEN THEM.

    It is like a scene from Alice in Wonderland. Ah well - at least Dave has found a place where no one can say he does not belong.

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 40.

    AND THEY DON'T SEND CHILDREN UP THE EDUCATIONAL FACTORY CHIMNEY (#38)

    If Hitler had not been 'on our side' (i.e. as bonkers as a Brit) they would have won, too.

  • Comment number 41.

    "THERE WERE NO ILLEGAL DRUGS IN HER SYSTEM" ONLY A FREELY-AVAILABLE, INSIDIOUSLY-DESTRUCTIVE, TAXED, STATE POISON.

    Is it me?

  • Comment number 42.

    As it has yet to appear, I have seen elsewhere what will be a sneak peak of tonight's probable guests and discussion (OK, a bit like this blog, only with experts and other folks' money)..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hahy44aQtFE&feature=player_embedded

  • Comment number 43.

    40.At 16:53 26th Oct 2011, barriesingleton wrote:
    AND THEY DON'T SEND CHILDREN UP THE EDUCATIONAL FACTORY CHIMNEY (#38)

    Yes - I understand that their education & training is fitted for the workplace - all the way from nursery school.

  • Comment number 44.

    41.At 17:07 26th Oct 2011, barriesingleton wrote:
    "THERE WERE NO ILLEGAL DRUGS IN HER SYSTEM" ONLY A FREELY-AVAILABLE, INSIDIOUSLY-DESTRUCTIVE, TAXED, STATE POISON.

    ++

    Freely available but not free to purchase as having about 70 % govt tax on it.
    Annual cost to the NHS, police, social services, car insurance , GDP, etc ... of 'state poison' - Unknown?

    "Freely available" in a "free society"

  • Comment number 45.

    I suspect they don’t want to print money, because the German people wouldn’t let them. If Euro goes into a free fall, the Germans will suffer equally because they are using the same currency. That is why it cannot be done especially when Angela Merkel is facing an election soon, so is Sarkozy I believe? We just have to wait and see. Can't wait for Paul's report tonight.

  • Comment number 46.

    mademoiselle_h @ 45

    The Germans are particularly loathe to print money as their collective memory recalls only too well 'when money dies' (the story of Wiemar - Adam Fergusson).

    However, if the eurozone is ever to become a coherent and ultimately stable entity, then the Germans are going to have to overcome some fears from the past and accept that they, along with other stronger members, will have to cross-subsidize the weaker members, with appropriate over-sight, of course.

    The Germans can console themselves with the thought that although they lost WWII, in the longer term, up until this point, they have won an economic war, and that, in effect, the eurozone is the Fourth Reich (in a benign sort of way).

  • Comment number 47.

    Not exactly related but here is a quote from one Chris Foss , illustrator of the famous book The Joy of Sex :

    "With the benefit of hindsight, it was a seminal work, but of course at the time, you just didn't realise this."

    Chris is obviously a man with a sense of humour!

  • Comment number 48.

    @46 JC Spot on. I quite understand why the Germans are afraid of hyperinflation, but the real cause of the post WWI problems wasn't too much money. It was that the physical economy had been wrecked by the war and couldn't meet the needs of the population, let alone the demand for reparations. Under these circumstances printing more money was futile at best.

    However, the problem today is completely different. The European finance system had already been damaged by the credit crunch of 2008. Now the the Greek fraud is destabilising the rest, as well as revealing the contradictions in the design of the Euro.

    Much of the money which financed the boom was created, out of nothing, by the finance system. The credit crunch destroyed some of it, and paying off the debt would destroy more of it. So the ECB has to create enough for the economy to function, and make sure it is spent in the right places. This doesn't mean that there won't be losers. Some banks will need to fail or be nationalised, and although Greek debt will be written off, that country's elite will no longer be able to rely on foreign loans to finance its excesses.

    At the height of the boom, the Eurozone as a whole ran a balance of payments surplus.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurozone#Comparison_table
    There is no reason now (unlike in the UK) why the physical economy can't provide for the needs if its inhabitants. What they need to do is cut the Gordian knot of the debt mathematics, and ensure that that there is enough currency remaining for the economy to function.

    Unfortunately, the ECB seems to be ignorant of why central banks exist.
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/26/wild-eyed-theorists-in-pinstripes/

  • Comment number 49.

    jauntycyclist wrote: "zerohedge is regarded as a joke. they have an agenda. no one should believe them and only read it for fun."

    Well said. Good advice. Nice to see social responsibility at work.

    The Keiser Report should be critically evaluated too. Especially when they talk up commodities like gold and silver, and promote anarchism.
    It's odd that the show never calls for more state regulation, i.e bigger government. Their agenda seems to be that by equating the banks with US government people will attack governance. Some people in Britain fondly remember when the means of production (mining etc), communication (transport etc) and exchange (finance etc) were in public ownership and people worked for each other's interests not just their own. The Soviets and Chinese learned that from the British, French and Germans you know.... Those Europeans who didn't our ways fled to the USA and started taking pot-shots at the Europe which they'd fled from, calling them "!persecutors". Such is the behaviour of paranoids and criminals. They are very self-centred people who just take from others. It's as simple as that. Imagine the feminised, but, as men. An odd idea to some, but explanatorily powerful. It may help clarify our problem for some..

  • Comment number 50.

    barriesingleton wrote: "I assert (yet again) that if governance was comprised of mature, respectable-and-respected, individuals of standing in the community, we could turn these islands into a haven of sanity, stability and life-competence"

    Your logic and reasoning appears to be flawed. If pigs had wings they might fly, but the reality is that politicians are constrained by what's the case, by law too. You are surely old enough to appreciate that? We get what our demography and generating system provides. We live in a law based system. If those laws are broken, it doesn't mean that we don't live in a law based system, just that some people break the law. Try as they might, pigs can't fly just by wishing it so.

  • Comment number 51.

    JohnConstable wrote "The Germans can console themselves with the thought that although they lost WWII, in the longer term, up until this point, they have won an economic war, and that, in effect, the eurozone is the Fourth Reich (in a benign sort of way)."

    The German language is logical, which is probably why they've produced so many excellent logicians, laid the foundations for programming and are so good at engineering. They seem to naturally find feminised thinking anathema, and even their current leader is a physics researcher with East German background/education. Having once expelled the anarchists who gave them so trouble in the past, it's still not a hospitable environment for their wily ways, so one can but hope that Germany will lead the way out of this mess, although their post WWII USA contrived Constitution and the long tentacles of Wall Street, might make that very hard to achieve. Still, here's hoping.

 

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