Enough of British politics. The thought of all three leaders having babies within the next year fills me with absolute horror.
Let us consider the question of the ongoing fiscal crisis in the EU, particularly the eurozone, of which Greece, whose problems remain unresolved, is the most egregious example. The Economics Commissar (well, at least, they don't have one for Heavy Industry, so we ought to be grateful for small mercies), Olli Rehn clearly thinks that this could be a beneficial crisis.
On Sunday he gave an interview to Welt am Sonntag [here it is in German] in which he explained that the Greek debacle has proved that "the European Commission should be more involved in setting member states' fiscal budgets". What a great idea. Let us widen the gulf between government and governed even further. That should make everyone be satisfied with politicians.
When earlier this year I spoke at a conference organized by Euromoney Plc in Vienna against the notion that East European countries should enter the eurozone, my main argument was political. The economic tensions between the core and peripheral countries were too great and the peripheral ones were likely to suffer. In order to overcome this the EU, more specifically the Commission, would have to interfere more and more in those countries' economic affairs, thus widening the political gulf of accountability. The outcome, I said, would not be a happy one in an area where political history has been somewhat fraught in the last century.
Mutatis mutandis, this applies to Greece as well. And, of course, Commissar Rehn would not stop with Greece but move on to other countries with those difficult histories. Just what does he think will happen? Well, of course, he does not care. What matters is the strengthening of the European project.
However, there are stirrings abroad. Well, in Germany who is a vital cog in that machine. As the Financial Times reports, hostility to Germany bailing out Greece is becoming stronger as time goes on (and time is going on with some sort of a decision on the subject due at the end of this week). You can't blame the Germans. When they were herded into the euro and were forced to abandon their beloved Deutschmark, they were promised quite specifically that they would not find themselves having to bail out Greece or Italy. One has come to pass and the other is not far off.
Almost a third thought that Greece should be asked, politely or otherwise, to leave the eurozone. But even worse for the project:
Further highlighting flagging support for the euro, 40 per cent of Germans also thought Europe's biggest economy would be better off outside the single currency - a significantly higher level of scepticism than in France, Spain or Italy.That's a little coy but we all understand who is meant by "Europe's largest economy" and it is not Greece.