The Euro Delusion
A darkly comedic video illustrates how eurocrats and British politicians are deluding themselves about the last ten years of the Euro
In December 2008, Lee Rotherham produced an in-depth study for Open Europe looking at how the European Union spent at least €2.4 billion that year promoting itself, more than Coca Cola spends on advertising.
That budget goes on everything from the visitor centre - relaunched in October as the glorious Parliamentarium; to funding for trade unions to £5.5 million in funding for European Year of Equal Opportunities for All in 2007; to grants to environmentalist organisations like Friends of the Earth so they can lobby for more draconian climate targets and regulations.
Sally McNamara at the Heritage Foundation has argued that the United States Congress needs to investigate the money the EU spends there on ideological causes and promoting itself.
The latest example is this incredible video. It features a Greek woman who manifests herself from an urn and appears to be gloriously happy with the state of her country and Europe. Wait till she reads a newspaper and finds out what has become of the birthplace of democracy.
At one point in the video Mario Draghi - President of the European Central Bank - tells us "the single currency has become a symbol of integration and cooperation".
It is a symbol of integration pursued to the point of disaster and cooperation between politicians who have locked their countries into a currency that is - as Sajid Javid MP put it - a "bankruptcy machine".
Their best idea of what to do next is unsurprisingly more integration, but fiscal union won't fix the euro's long-term problems. As I wrote for the TPA website recently: "It is a convenient answer for politicians deeply committed to political integration in Europe but it raises some pretty difficult questions. If one of the problems is that the Greeks evade their taxes, will German tax collectors be dispatched? If the challenge for Italy is a combination of high debt and low expected growth, will the Estonians take on that massive debt or be let loose to impose supply-side reforms?"
Or, as economist John Kay put it in an article for Financial Times: "The Eurozone’s difficulties result not from the absence of strong central institutions but the absence of strong local institutions."
The euro is continually referred to throughout the video as "our money". Thankfully it is only their money, not ours, despite the efforts of politicians like Nick Clegg who were promoting the currency as late as 2009.
But we are still living with the consequences as economic growth here is depressed by uncertainty over the Eurozone’s future, so the video is pretty dark comedy.
Matthew Sinclair is the Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, a free-market pressure group based in London. You can follow him on Twitter at: @MJHSinclair
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