The Euro political tumbrel keeps rumbling on

It is not necessary to be a soothsayer to foresee the political fall-out that will ensue following draconian fiscal measures being taken throughout Euroland in the wake of the Euro crisis. One could be easily forgiven for perceiving  the only solution, perhaps some would call it a mantra, that the Technocrats which now apparently govern Europe understand, is one of “Make the People Pay”.

It is all too easy for leaders comfortably buffered from the real hardships many in their populaces are undergoing, to fully understand the deep resentment many are held in as they introduce fiscal policies often amounting to a form of national self-flagellation. Policies that have led to loss of jobs, loss of housing, loss or reduction of pay and pensions and even cases of alleged starvation. Such policies to all but the seriously misguided could be considered a vote-winning agenda but which never-the-less appear to have been pursued with great zeal irrespective of the real cost to national populaces. Politicians have always promised that pain today is necessary for jam or a better future tomorrow. I must confess that as a pensioner, I am still waiting for tomorrow to arrive.

I cannot help but feel that as national elections start to take place throughout Euroland, many of todays leaders are likely to be cast into the political wilderness, possibly forever. Signs of this process are already becoming apparent. France is at present midway in it’s two stage election process with the current President Nicolas Sarkozy facing an uphill struggle to retain his position. Internal political upheaval has caused the Dutch Prime Minister to tender his resignation to pave the way for early elections.The Czech Republic is also facing similar upheaval while in Greece, one Prime Minster has been forced to resign and his successor may well be forced out of office in turn by fast approaching national elections. Italy too has seen a change in national leadership in the wake of the Euro crisis. Whatever the outcome of future national elections, the noise of the approaching political tumbrel weaving its way through Euroland can be clearly heard.

One of the greatest dangers in elections is the temptation for national populaces to turn to more radical political parties in their frustration if not outright hostility to more middle of the road parties, something that leaves me with a dark sense of foreboding for the future. A feeling that within the next few years, the political map of Europe is about to be rewritten, not necessarily for the better.

I suspect that future historians when looking back on the current European period will created a descriptive term to encapsulate events already in the making. Terms like “The Dark Ages” or the “Wind of Change” in Africa have already been used. Who knows what such a future descriptive term will be, or even if it will impart a sense of an optimistic or pessimistic period of time.

The Euro crisis like the tumbrel rumbles on

For the past few months, I like so many others have watched the so far futile efforts of European leaders attempting to prop-up European economies with vast sums of borrowed money, our money, which in turn can only lead to even greater debt for someone, somewhere. First the Greek financial crisis followed by the Italian one, both of which led to loss of political heads, both being replaced by technocratic leaders. I strongly suspect more political heads will roll, but the Euro crisis is like the mythological many-headed Hydra, as one head is cut off, it is immediately replaced by another. Like the Hydra, the Euro crisis remains alive and kicking no matter how many political heads are removed.

The past week has seen the latest attempt to save this already mortally wounded beast with all Euro leaders except the UK succumbing to German/Franco pressure to allow Brussels bureaucrats to decide by as yet undefined rules, how much these supposedly sovereign states will be allowed to run their own economies. I find it very strange that the leaders of so many countries are prepared to sign up to an accord where outside general principles, the rules of the game have yet to be written.

It is indicative of just how economically alarmed some of these states appear to be. Many are not major players in either world or Euro leagues, similarly some have ever-increasing debt mountains they simply are unable to control. Surrendering this financial aspect of their sovereignty in the form of an accord without even a whimper, seems to me, that many are paving the way for the political hand-washing excuses that will follow the inevitable draconian cuts likely to be imposed on their populace’s. Don’t blame us, its Brussels that is cutting your standards of living.

I would not be at all surprised if by now, many Euro counties must be privately ruing the day they signed up to the single Euro currency.

The most important thing that appears to have been overlooked in all these grandiose conferences is the people themselves. It does seem to me, the question the average person in the street must be asking themselves by now, is how much longer are they expected to go on paying for other people’s mistakes? All I can see coming from this Euro-tinkering is the creation of a hot-bed of civil unrest which nobody wants.

The only thing that can be reasonably foreseen is the rumbling of the political tumbrel through the streets of Euroland as an economic Madame Guillotine removes one political head after another.

Whether the Euro as a currency or even the European Union itself survives the stormy waters ahead only fortune tellers can guess at. I do know that future historians will look back at this time in hindsight, dissecting events and wondering how anyone ever got themselves into such a mess. No future lessons will be learned, even when cause and effect are fully analysed and understood. A future generation of as yet unborn politicians will be there with the insatiable urge to dabble.

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