Saturday, December 10, 2011

Shackled to economic corpses

After committing to WWI the Germans lamented that they were 'shacked to a corpse' of Austria-Hungary.

The EU treaty has shackled the economic corpse of Greece to Germany's ankle, as well as a few others. There is another sad connection: Austria-Hungary was a multi-ethnic union, but it was a prison for nations. The internal fractures in Austria-Hungary included resentment in Serbia, which eventually led to assassination of Duke Ferdinand in Sarajevo, which started WWI. This unfortunate analogy may prove very apt if EU introduces rules which are seen as oppressive bonds imposed by non-elected bureaucrats in Brussels.

The shackling of modern Germany that I'm referring to is a fitting analogy, because many other European countries such as Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Greece (PIIGS) are all financial corpses.

I see more equality in the foolishness of both parties despite their financial asymmetry, because this shackling reminds me a dark stories from days of German occupation of Russia, when prisoners or hostages were bound together to save bullets by drowning some of the victims bound to corpses. The point is that last one alive still perishes - the shackling is fatal to everyone. Will Germans want to trade the obligation to lend money to Greece for the power to increase their retirement age in to be commensurate with that of Germany? Or to enforce some other measure of austerity? Economic success is doubtful, but political failure is almost guaranteed: people would not part with their sovereignty in either Greece or Germany with the ease elites envision.

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