Profiles in European Denial
An impartial observer of the Meseberg Summit between Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron would conclude that the eurozone remains as macroeconomically unsustainable as it was five years ago. And yet Europe’s establishment, oblivious to the Nationalist International preparing to devour the EU, is serving it appetizers.
ATHENS – Europe’s establishment is luxuriating in two recent announcements that would have been momentous even if they were only partly accurate: The end of Greece’s debt crisis, and a Franco-German accord to redesign the eurozone. Unfortunately, both reports offer fresh proof of the European Union establishment’s remarkable talent for never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
The two announcements did not come in the same week by accident. The Greek debt implosion, back in 2010, was the ugly symptom of the eurozone’s design flaws, which is why it triggered a domino effect across the continent. Greece’s continuing insolvency reflects the deep disagreements within the Franco-German axis concerning eurozone redesign. While three French presidents and the same German chancellor were failing to agree on the institutional changes that would render the eurozone sustainable, Greece was asked to bleed quietly.
In 2015, the Greeks staged a rebellion, which Europe’s establishment ruthlessly crushed. Neither Brexit nor the EU’s steady de-legitimation in the eyes of European voters managed to convince the establishment to change its ways. French President Emmanuel Macron’s election seemed the last hope for the new Berlin-Paris accord needed to prevent a suffocating Italy from triggering the next – this time lethal – domino effect.