John Redwood turns his steely intellect, and our attention, towards the idea of European union as a way out of our/their(?) troubles and reminds us that it has been tried recently and the results and the experience should be a lesson to us all. Only 21 years ago West and East Germany were re-unified. Needless to say, it was old 'King' Kohl, the main mover behind the birth of the euro currency, of whom I have written before, who was in charge in West Germany when the re-unification occurred. Under his leadership it was decided that the re-union would take place on the basis of one Ostmark (not worth a toss) equals one DM which was was worth a huge amount of tosses! According to Mr. Redwood, the total cost of conducting this fiscal and economic union in the first 20 years is in the region of e1.3 trillion! Today, it's costing about e80 bn a year. Even given the fact that both sides share the same language and much of their history is mutual there was still considerable bad-feeling between 'Osties' and 'Westies', the former believing the latter to be mean and harsh, and the latter certain that the former were a bunch of ingrate wastrels! If that is the sort of tensions which arise inside a common ethnic population, consider how all the differing ethnicities with their very different cultures and histories of Europe will re-act when they are dragooned into a unity which, however it is disguised, will be under German tutelage? 'Ve haf veys off making you march in step!'
Incidentally, one of Mr. Redwood's commenters, 'Pete the Bike', reports the following:
Bank branches are limiting withdrawals now almost everywhere in France, some branches such as Caisse d’Epargne don’t even deliver any cash in the afternoon now. Lots of soldiers are moving into Paris for the weekend. 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. On Monday, a bank “holiday” was announced in Italy. None if this is reported in the mainstream government controlled media of course.
Obviously, I cannot vouch for the accuracy but why am I not surprised?