Benedict Brogan tells us that the Anglophile French Prime Minister François Fillon, has promised that France and Germany would do "anything" to save the euro. Well, there's a surprise that most of us did not foresee. Of course, the people and courts of Germany might think otherwise but the notion that the French and the German governmentswould do anything has been obvious for some time. Furthermore, M Fillon added in an interview with the newspaper no-one can read on line any more:
“In order to consolidate the euro we will need gradually to harmonise our economic, fiscal and social policies, hence we are going to go towards greater integration. We are going to need to put in place an economic system of governance for the eurozone. Great Britain is not part of the eurozone; at the same time the decision we will take will have great importance to Britain,” he says.So, in order to avoid the catastrophe of the euro's failure (and let's face it, the consequences will not be pleasant for anybody but the long-term future would be better) Britain must get more involved in creating an integrated economic governance.
“The question is is the UK ready to accept or encourage greater integration of the eurozone or is the UK distrustful of that and will it create obstacles and make it more difficult to happen? I do believe the first solution would be much better. We in the eurozone have no other choice right now than further integration. Essentially the question is whether the UK wants to exert an influence on this changing Europe or not.”
No surprises there. Nor will there be any in the pusillanimous behaviour we can expect from the Boy-Ming and his side-kick, the Chancellor.
Meanwhile Joschka Fischer, the former German Foreign Minister has gone even further (not being the FM means that he can talk a little more openly):
At a large gathering on Wednesday evening (12 January) in the European Parliament, members of the Spinelli Group, a new network of prominent euro-federalists, called for an acceleration of European integration, arguing that a greater economic and political intertwining was urgently needed to solve the bloc's panoply of problems.The idea that further integration will somehow create a strong, stable entity with a great deal of influence on the world is, of course, laughable but the amount of damage that will be done and is being done in the process is not.
"To say that Europe is in a bad way would be euphemistic," the co-president of parliament's Green group and Spinelli member, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, said by way of introduction.
Former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer was equally pessimistic about the current state of affairs at the meeting, entitled 'A United States of Europe'. He acknowledged that "the EU's 'no-bailout' clause was quickly forgotten" in the face of Greek difficulties last year, and that "eurobonds are there, just in a different shape," but was critical of France and Germany's reluctance to move forward with further integration.
"Despite all the kisses [between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel], France and Germany are going through a difficult period," he said.