In the finest undemocratic traditions of the EUSSR, Reich Kanzler Merkel and her diminutive side kick Sarkozy gave the Greek Prime Minister a thorough kicking until he surrendered and bought a few more days for the Euro.
The European Federal Project has always regarded democracy as an inconvenient and irrelevant concept. At the pre G20 Euro Zone meeting and at the G20, the Reich Kanzler demonstrated that Germany would rule and that other countries would have to fund the survival of the Euro Zone or be plunged into war. The reality is very different from the delusions of the EUSSR Polit Buro.
The humiliation of Greece and its Prime Minister may have made the situation even worse. The Greeks originally blamed their own incompetent and corrupt politicians for the mess Greece now finds itself in. Had a referendum been held, the real result would have been that Greeks continued blame their own politicians. Now with the insensitivity that German politicians are infamous for, the Greeks are coming to understand the key role that the Federalists in Berlin and Paris played, aided by the unelected Eurocrats in Brussels. It is unclear where the Reich Kanzler got the idea that she could alone decide which countries are ejected from the EU but it is clear that she threatened the Greek Prime Minister with the expulsion of Greece from the Euro Zone AND from the European Union. In making those threats she celebrated the 70 anniversary of the last time Germany decided to get involved in ruling Greece. That reminder of former German occupation may combine badly with the growing Greek appreciation of how they are to be condemned to decades of poverty.
It all contrasts so badly with what might have been had the EUSSR Polit Buro had more real confidence in their project’s stability.
Had Greece been suspended from the Euro Zone and given time to get its finances in order, or even had its original Euro Zone membership delayed and then followed by a probationary period, the current crisis would have been averted before it began. Having now allowed a death by a thousand cuts over the last six years, the EUSSR has created a far deeper crisis that threatens the global economy and makes it virtally certain that Greece will be forced out of the Euro with a painful and uncontrolled default. The markets have now concluded that Greek default is inevitable and will be very painful, so they have now turned their attention to Italy, with Spain, Portugal, and Ireland hanging in the wind as secondary targets. The great danger is that Italy is the third largest economy in the Euro Zone and the fault lines in the French economy are starting to open up. There is now a very real prospect that Italy and France will become the primary targets of market forces and that Spain, Portugal and Ireland will naturally fold as the two much larger economies implode. If that happens, Germany is immediately vulnerable, but so are most of the major economies around the world.
It was against this background, long known to the politicians, even if most of them were in denial, that the G20 met. The responsibilities could not have been greater for these political pygmies. They met all expectations and failed to rise to the occasion. The greatest disappointment was Hussein Obama, but this should have been no surprise when the US President has failed to sort out his own mess, and there is a very real risk that the US will fail to honour the budget cuts on which Congress voted enough money to keep the US economy running through the summer of 2011. If there is no agreement, the US will run out of liquid funds to pay public service wages and purchases.
This is very bad news for Britain because the US and the EU together amount to more than 80% of British export trade. The public sector cuts, or more accurately the serious slowing of growth in unfunded expenditure, meant that 2011 and 2012 would have seen a major reduction in domestic trade and an increase in unemployment. That would have been offset by increased exports and the start of growth in manufacturing, leading to improving employment and the strengthening of a new growth cycle. If the Euro Zone implodes and the US fails to finance its budgets, Britain will not see the growth it needs next year. There are some promising signs in that market confidence has been steadily improving in the British economy as the Government has stuck to its program of deficit reduction. There are also signs that British companies are finding new markets to offset some of the worst of the potential US and Euro Zone failures.
The complete unknown is how far the shock waves will spread from the US and the Euro Zone. A complete failure of the Euro will destroy the European federal Project. A partial failure, the expulsion of the weakest Euro Zone members and the absorption of the other members into a Greater Germany or Forth Reich, will leave the other current members of the EU with the need to form new alliances, probably leading to the resurrection of the European Free Trade Area with Britain as the largest economy and a co-operative of countries keen to work together while maintaining their national identities. That could isolate the Forth Reich because it would in effect be surrounded by a trading block that was looking out to the rest of the world and in consequence making it more difficult for the Forth Reich to gain export business. The situation would depend in part on how many countries were absorbed into the Forth Reich. Although the political elite might relish the idea of immediate formation of a new super power, it is rather less clear that the peoples of those countries would be enthusiastic. Over decades, the message coming out of large opinion polls demonstrates that Europeans, including the British, have a sentimental attachment to the idea of being good neighbours and working together. In contrast, the same polls show that the people of Europe have always held a majority against the way in which their politicians were trying to build an EUSSR where the political elite enjoyed a lavish lifestyle while the masses endured reducing levels of wealth and the loss of civil liberty. This is why Merkel and Sarkozy were so terrified at the prospect of Greece holding a referendum.
We now face a winter of uncertainty and fear as the US and the Euro Zone lumber towards the prospect of financial disaster on a scale never before seen. As that uncertainty grows, the threat of war increases with the scale of the Iranian nuclear weapons program being acknowledged. Israel is understandably concerned that a country, which has promised to eraze Israel from the map, is building the means to carry out that promise. Militarily, Israel, with backing from the US, UK and the Arab states, who know their are the next on the Iranian death list after Israel, has the bases and weapons to obliterate the Iranian weapons production sites, although that could also require significant collateral damage to be accepted because the Iranian sites are hardened, some are hidden, and some are close to population centers.
We are now moving into a global situation that is a combination of 1914 and 1939. As in 1914, the world has taken the first steps towards a new global war as alliances require support by some countries of others under treaties and less formal understandings. At any point, the process could be halted but the major risk is that the consequences of steps in convergence with other steps, that are initially unconnected, makes this a largely invisible progress of consequences. Like 1939, the world is struggling to free itself from major economic failures. Perhaps the greatest risk of all is that there are no outstanding political figures on the world stage. Those figures must exist and may become visible but right now there are only political pygmies in office, as demonstrated by the recent G20 meeting in France.