Europa kampt met een tekort aan vertrouwen

Er is vandaag de dag geen gebrek aan verhalen over de Europese tekorten en de noodzaak om die recht te zetten. Critici wijzen op de gapende begrotingstekorten. Ze refereren aan de chronische tekorten op de betalingsbalansen van de Zuid-Europese landen. Ze benadrukken de institutionele tekorten van de eurozone – een eenheidsmunt en een centrale bank, maar geen van de andere elementen van een goed functionerende monetaire unie.

Op al deze terreinen hebben de critici natuurlijk een punt. Maar geen van deze tekorten is het tekort dat er werkelijk toe doet. Het tekort dat Europa ervan weerhoudt een streep onder zijn crisis te trekken, is een tekort aan vertrouwen.

Ten eerste is er te weinig vertrouwen tussen de nationale leiders en hun kiezers. We hebben dit het duidelijkst gezien in de persoon van de vroegere Italiaanse premier Silvio Berlusconi, die gelukkig naar de coulissen van het politieke toneel is verbannen. Maar zelfs de meest standvastige Europese leiders hebben het vertrouwen van hun kiezers verspeeld door de ene dag dit te zeggen en de volgende dag het tegenovergestelde.

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