Everyone's a social democrat these days in Europe

Angela Merkel lets the mask slip for what is supposedly the European Right in extolling the "social market economy"...

by Yorker on 28 June 2013 11:23

You'd have to be having a serious sense of humour failure not to see the funny side of the latest absurdity emanating from the European Union. As Reuters is reporting, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has just had an absolute fit after phone transcripts were released this week concerning conversations among bankers at Anglo Irish Bank in 2008.

"In the tapes they made light of the Irish government's decision at the height of the global financial crisis to guarantee their liabilities and talk about demanding "moolah" - slang for money - from the country's central bank.

"They were also heard singing the pre-war version of the German national anthem, with the words 'Deutschland uber alles'."

Boys will be boys, I suppose, but it does tell you something about what "European solidarity" -- supposedly the bedrock assumption of the whole European project -- actually means in practice.

But here's the really interesting nugget in the story:

"For people who go to work each day and earn an honest living, this kind of thing is very hard to take, it's impossible to stomach.

"This is really damaging to democracy, the social market economy and all that we work for," Reuters quoted her as saying.

Spot that? Here's continental Europe's top centre-Right leader quite openly placing the "social market economy" at the core of her thinking.

The writer Mark Steyn once memorably characterised the supposed Left-Right divide in Europe as being a question of Eurodum and Eurodee. It makes little difference whether parties are nominally on the Right or the Left; they all endorse the same underlying social democratic assumptions.

Worth a thought, eh?

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