Sunday, July 19, 2015

Reuters: One Big Unhappy EU Family

This article on Rueters is one of the better ones I have seen out there on the problems of trying to get nations to cooperate (even at just a regional level). You can multiply this many times over when trying to get nations to cooperate on a global level. 

While there is plenty of "we are all in this together" talk, the reality is that there are many different interests present in a complex system. It's actually pretty rare to get widespread cooperation on anything significant. It usually takes years to decades to get major changes unless there is a crisis impacting events. 


"The latest paroxysm of Greece's debt crisis has exposed growing rifts in the euro zonewhich, unless addressed soon, could lead to the break-up of European monetary union, the EU's most ambitious project.

The most worrying sign for European leaders is that public opinion and domestic politics are pulling them increasingly in opposing directions - not just between Greece andGermany, the biggest debtor and the biggest creditor, but almost everywhere.

Germans, Finns, Dutch, Balts and Slovaks no longer want taxpayers' money to go to bail out Greeks, while the French, Italians and Greeks feel the euro zone is all about austerity and punishment and lacks solidarity and economic stimulus."

. . . . 

"After weeks of late-night emergency meetings of leaders and finance ministers, culminating in a tense all-night summit, the euro zone produced a fragile deal to keepGreece afloat by making it a virtual protectorate under intrusive supervision. Few, if any, of the main protagonists think it will work."

A senior EU official involved in brokering the compromise, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there was now a "20, maybe 30 percent chance of success".

"When I look at the next two to three years, the next three months, I see only black clouds," the official said. "All we succeeded in doing was to avoid a chaotic Grexit."

. . . . 

"Greece has been such a distraction that leaders barely noted an important report authored by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker with the heads of four other EU institutions on how to make the monetary union work better.

That is arguably the biggest challenge facing the EU, yet there is little sign of willingness to contemplate pooling more fiscal sovereignty or sharing more common liabilities as the authors say is required."

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