The (EU) Mood turns Apocalyptic

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FLEMING ON FINANCE

The mood turns apocalyptic

By Stewart Fleming
23.06.2011 / 04:20 CET
Saving Greece is about more than bringing that country back on track. It is about ensuring that the EU continues to be a global economic power.

Is the European Union finally waking up to the scale of the political and economic challenges it faces? Last week, at a seminar in Brussels led by Notre Europe, a think-tank, the apocalyptic mood, even among government officials who normally let their political masters do the talking in public, was unmistakeable.

With the financial crisis in Greece exploding all over the European media, Michael Claus, a director-general for European affairs at Germany’s foreign ministry, spoke bluntly. For the European Union in the next 18 months, “the top priority will be to save the euro”, he said.

The leaders at the Brussels summit this week may yet come up with a plan to save the euro. I am not sure they know how to save Europe.

Everything now hangs on Greece’s socialist prime minister, George Papandreou, and on whether he can muster the support of his parliament next week for a five-year austerity and reform package (it has been slightly tinkered with in recent days). The package is the condition for a second European bail-out. Without it, next month’s tranche of loans will not be paid and Greece will default. So the unusual silence and discipline of the leaders is, more than anything, a sign fear: they are really, really worried that if Greece sinks it could take the euro with it to the bottom of the wine-dark sea.

Comment by Adamantine:

Nothing new here folks, move along.

On second thought just what if it becomes a true crisis. Who are they going to call ?

Answers: Choose one

1) Santa Claus

2) Ghost-busters

3) the Embodiment of Europe and the Incarnation of Global Governance.

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