Thursday, September 29, 2011

Calling the Euro project for what it is

On BBC's Newsnight, the Daily Telegraph's Peter Oborne confronts a European Commission bureaucrat (Amadeu Altafaj-Tardio) for his defence of the Euro being a great success, because it is a "political project" not an "economic project". Calling him an idiot, and then he proves it.

He said the UK had a budget deficit the same size as Greece, yet ignored that Greece's public debt was already two-thirds greater (per capita) than the UK, and the Pound had devaluated during the recession allowing exporters to become more competitive and reducing imports.  Greece had no such devaluation.  The comparison is meaningless.  He claims the Euro has "protected" economies, even though it has clearly damaged the prospects for the poorer southern economies.

Then former editor of the FT, Sir Richard Lambert is confronted for having supported Britain joining the Euro some years ago, claiming "the facts changed" when it was France and Germany breaking the rules in the first place (as if Britain would have been able to respond to that).   Peter Oborne then gets his back up because he is confronted with a book about the mistake it would have been to join the Euro by claiming that the title "Guilty Men" means Peter Oborne equates Angela Merkel with the Nazis - an emotive non-sequiter.   Then Lambert proves Oborne right by saying Germany should support Greece withdrawing from the Euro.

Oborne calls the bureaucrat idiot enough times that he storms out of the studio in Brussels.  

It's rather simple, the bureaucrats in Brussels, and the primarily French and German politicians pursuing their grand political project, have caused immense damage and they are unwilling to do what is needed to fix it.  Their only answer is more tax, fiscal union and to print more good money after bad to prop up a failed single currency project.

Watch and if you're not from the UK, note how television journalism can be professional, can have people with wildly differing views and be compelling.

1 comment:

Tony said...

Excellent excerpt, thanks for posting.