European Council: There are alternatives to the fiscal compact
2 março 2012
The new treaty signed by 25 member states in Brussels on March 2 is supposed to create a new era of fiscal responsibility and economic union, but it is half-baked and reinforces the EU’s undemocratic credentials, argues a British columnist.
The saddest comment to come from Europe this week was made by a senior Brussels official who declared that the eurozone crisis was now on its way to a solution thanks to the intervention of the European Central Bank to pump a further half-trillion euros into the system by way of loans to the banks.
Oh, yes? With the Irish now holding a referendum on the new fiscal pact agreed by eurozone members, with the Bundesbank openly criticising the ECB for its actions, and the markets stolidly refusing to believe in the Greek bailout or in the guarantees on sovereign debt, does anyone really believe it's over? Certainly not in the capitals of Europe, Berlin and Paris among them.
That's the trouble with the EU at the moment. It has become a case of the dog that doesn't bark. The only thing at all interesting about its summits is not what they decide but that they never quite decide anything.
Look at the latest summit in Brussels, which began yesterday and should finish today. It was supposed to set the seal on the new fiscal pact that would create a new era of fiscal responsibility and economic union. It was also intended to raise the ceiling on the bail-out funds to a level that would convince the markets that the eurozone was here to stay, solid, complete and effective.
Instead the decision on the size of the bailout fund has been pushed to later in the month (or the month after or the month after that, as the case may be). There was also meant to be a separate summit of eurozone leaders today to propel the whole thing forward. That will not now happen. "It wasn't cancelled because it was never officially on the agenda," said a spokesman in that glorious Brussels double-speak.