May 29, 2010

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In Defense of Europe In ancient Greece, Cassandra warned of the fall of Troy, and no one listened. Today, after the Greek financial crisis, Cassandras are everywhere, predicting the collapse of the euro, if not the European Union itself. Everyone is listening. Yet extreme pessimism is premature. History teaches us that it is too soon to count Europe out. Headline-chasing observers have often predicted the Union’s imminent demise. They have generally been proved wrong. In the 1960s, when France’s President Charles de Gaulle vetoed British entry and withdrew from the Common Market, bringing European decision making to a halt for six months, some believed the experiment was finished. In the early 1980s, journalists used the phrases “Euro-sclerosis” and “Euro-pessimism” to describe the mood in Brussels. A few years later, Europe launched the single-market program. Economists uniformly rejected the euro as unworkable. Now it is reality. Just five years ago, in the wake of referendum defeats in France, the Netherlands, and Ireland, the European Constitution seemed moribund. Now it is law. European countries consistently find common solutions not because they are sentimental believers in the European ideal but because they inhabit the world’s most economically interdependent continent. They have no choice but to cooperate. Witness the result of the May currency crisis: a stronger Europe but without the extreme centralized federalism some advocate. On May 10, Europeans bailed out Greece, authorized a €750 billion war chest to protect currencies, and authorized the European Central Bank to intervene to buy up sovereign debt.

Watchman

I'm a watchman for Christ, looking on the horizon in expectation for the fulfillment of God's Word.

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