03 APR 2011
By Jimmy Young | Sunday Express
SPEAKING of the problems facing the eurozone 10 years ago, William Hague declared that membership of the euro was like being stuck in a burning building with no exits.
Speaking from bitter experience the Greeks and the Irish would agree. So, I expect, would the good people of Portugal. Jose Socrates, the former Portuguese prime minister, found his own exit by resigning.
Why, as Margaret Thatcher might put it, has Europe gone wobbly? Basically because the euro is a currency that was invented for political reasons, with little thought for the economic consequences. Now stronger countries, especially Germany, are becoming increasingly resentful at having to bail out indebted neighbours, often described as profligate.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel presides over a booming economy with falling unemployment yet even she has felt the fury and frustrations of voters. Recently she suffered a humiliating defeat in state elections in Baden-Wuerttemberg, the state that her Christian Democratic Union party has governed for more than five decades.
I don’t believe the European Union is about to fall apart but I believe it has to fundamentally alter its attitude. For a start, the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels who drive the EU juggernaut must shed their arrogance.
THE latest blast from Brussels, delivered in language worthy of the Kremlin, announces its intention to impose on us its “fully functioning multi-modal transport system”.
Speaking about those proposals, Transport Minister Norman Baker said that while it was right for the EU to set high targets for carbon reduction, it was not right for it to get involved in how this would be delivered by cities. In a defiant blast he added: “We will not be banning cars from city centres any more than we will be having rectangular bananas.”
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