Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Back to Iceland and Portugal

The Letters section of today's Daily Telegraph is led by Lord Willoughby de Broke, who has appeared once or twice on this blog and over on EURef. Despite the ridiculously bad sub-editing of the heading (sadly to be expected from the Telegraph these days) one can quickly grasp what the noble lord is saying.
No Parliament may bind its successors, and it is essential for Mr Osborne to review the commitment made by Mr Darling.

Members of the eurozone must solve its problems. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, at the Davos economic forum, underlined that: "We are fully determined to defend the euro... Mrs Merkel and I will never – do you hear me, never – let the euro fall." With that promise Mr Osborne is surely free to allow France and Germany to back their mouth with their money.
Well, pigs might fly, I suppose, and Georgie-Porgie might acquire some sense and a backbone.

There are other letters, less coherent in what they are trying to say but I do like Colin Bullen's point about not letting Iceland into the EU being the equivalent of throwing Brer Rabbit into the briar patch.

ADDENDUM: I have been reliably informed (by Lord Willoughby de Broke) that his original letter was "castrated". Here is the last paragraph as he wrote it:
Indeed the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, in full hubristic flow at the Davos World Economic Forum, underlined that “ We are fully determined to defend the euro… Mrs. Merkel and I will never – do you hear me, never – let the euro fall”. With that ringing promise from the two leading members of the eurozone George Osborne is surely now free to allow France and Germany to back their mouth with their money.
It would appear that the Telegraph prefers not to pass sarcastic or unfriendly comments about Le P'tit Sarko.


  1. I've read several articles stating that Icelands referendum will not affect accession into the EU Club. I can't for one moment see the EU letting one slip out of the net! They're far too greedy for power.

  2. As for the bailout mechanism, isn't that illegal anyway? You can hardly call bankruptcy a natural disaster! The EU make the rules up as they go along.

  3. There is no getting out of the Euro as things stand, just taking the Euro medecine until it kills the patient. As they say, we are in unchartered territory until we actually arrive there. This will probably be when Spain hits the metaphorical buffers or when we have a revolution in Greece, Ireland or Portugal. Euro politicians do not do half measures.

    This business of government binding its successors is all very well. Try telling that to the Irish who have had to swallow their last government's prescription hook, line and sinker. Although the Portuguese do not have a government, they too must do as they are told regardless of what the vote for. Faced with these choices is there any wonder the people of Iceland were not prepared for the same cure. They are doing what we should have done. Tell the government that private banks should not be supported by tax payers. Their banks like ours wanted to play their casino games and lend money to crooks. They were big boys in a big world and should not expect the tax payer to bail them out. The Icelanders know this, our politicians were not up to it (nor are they still) so we are lumbered.

    Of course some politicians like to be bound by their predecessors. This seems to me the position of our current Prime Minister who did everything in oppostion to avoid opening up a debate on the Lisbon Treaty whilst pretending he would not let matters rest. Since losing the election his coalition has let matters rest to the extent that we are more in than we ever were, now funding the Euro zone which we are not part of and a shareholder in the ECB of which we are not a member.

    I can recommend this article published before the Icelandic vote which gives a chilling account of what life in austerity Europe will look like for Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Iceland can avoid this.