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Guess who has fallen out of love with the Euro?

Oui, nos amis les Francais et Francaises.

Libé has the figures:

52% consider the Euro to be a bad thing.

53% think it has been bad for employment.

57% think it has been bad for them personally.

All of these figures are up from 2003, and elsewhere 58% of our German friends would like to to go back to the Mark. I wish I could point to a post of mine where I said it would all end in tears, but I cannot. However, I have been saying for years.

On the upside, blog readership is advancing outre Manche, with 8,717,000 reading a blog at least once a month, up 29.6% on the year.

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Anonymous flamingstratman said... 9:56 am

The Euro has just put the Dollar to the 2nd position. I think it is a good thing, especially when you travel Europe. You can always see what things cost without doing math. In big I suppose that´s a good thing for trade as well. I belong to the germans who don´t miss the Mark and I´d love to see an english Euro version... calm down... I know this will take some time :)
Werner  



Anonymous nick drew said... 10:11 am

C - you obviously know France intimately and can put me right, but I have formed the distinct impression that huge swathes of French life have become utterly dependent on euro-institutions (not least the CAP) and are due for a horrible reckoning when the rest of eu is no longer willing to foot the bill.

Given also that the Parisian middle classes live in perpetual fear that their beloved city is going to be torched by the denizens of les banlieus, and the future is not necessarily rosy.

Health service or no health service.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 10:18 am

FSM - Agred, it makes life a little more convenient, butthe pretence that the Eurozone really has an economy with all counties in the same part of the economic cycle is costing countries dearly. And the euro being stronger than the dollar will be terrible for eurozone exports.

ND - Basically yes. The entire economy is mortgaged to the hilt, and one of these days La France will have to deal with The Reckoning.  



Anonymous peter said... 10:32 am

Hi I live in France, and very nice it is too. The French people that I know are the ones with kids as I have two children at school here age 11 & 14. All voted against the constitution because it was the first time they had been consulted about the E.U. The Euro was foisted on them by their government with no choice to the people. The CAP and other Brussels legislation to the benefit of France was in place before the Euro was forced on them. They blame the rise in costs rightly on the Euro because they went in at the wrong rate. The one rate fits all does not work. If you think that a cheque written in Euros in Spain can be put into a French bank with no currency charge think again, the charge for a 500 Euro Spanish cheque is 23 Euros, Euro cash is ok, credit cards in Euros always carry a charge between countries.

The E.U should be relegated to a trading partnership, my thoughts not the French I haven't asked.  



Blogger Rigger Mortice said... 10:50 am

great news ,the EU and Euro have been victories for the Machine and have taken govt away from the people.Accountability is near Zero.

Fuck em.I hate em.Vive la Difference!  



Anonymous Anonymous said... 11:11 am

My Masters thesis of a few years ago was on the viability of the Eurozone as a single currency area. My conclusion was that it was not and is unlikely to be in the future.

You would need 3 key planks to ensure that it was:
1 - Easy movement of labour. This is of course very difficult with language and cultural issues, even if the citizenship issue has been resolved. It also involves accepting depopulation of some areas in favour of others without regard to national boundaries.
2- A central tax system; this is needed to ensure that the various economies are moved towards the same cycle. Fat chance of this happening whilst national parliaments still exist.
3- A central budget; to allocate finance to the areas that need it and to prevent abuse by member nations who could choose to get into debt at others expense. This is happening now and undermining the Euro.

I wrote this 10 years ago after the ERM debacle and nothing has changed in the meantime to sugges the Euro will work. Indeed, it seems British exports are increasingly goign elsewhere than our European allies.  



Anonymous hatfield girl said... 11:21 am

Cheques? Creditcards? What might those large denomination euro-notes be for, do you think Peter?

The euro is a cash currency; carry lots of it about with you, as you'll pay dearly for using anything else for payments, as well as cutting quite a swathe for record-keeping, both yours and anyone's you deal with.  



Anonymous hatfield girl said... 11:44 am

City, You seem to want to give the eurozone its very own Gordon Brown and all the coercive statism that he has built to enforce his diktats and reinforce his access to power.

Do we care if there isn't a central tax system? Do we want to pay nearly half of the eurozone GDP to a Gorgon? Well no, we won't. I'm not even sure anyone would have the brass neck to try and make us. And using whose army?

A central budget allocation to areas that need it? I need it and as it's my money I'm delighted to do my own allocating to areas I need it.

Free movement of labour; you've got it, and very convenient it is too. Most people will make the effort to learn a language and a culture, particularly if the social wage is much higher than in their own part of Europe; and most of the indigenes are decent enough to welcome hardworking willing to integrate families.

While many have settled from other faiths and from outside the Union, it is still Christendom you know, and there have been generations of peaceful and useful exchange with the outside, as well, to build upon.

The Union and its currency won't fail, nor should it.  



Anonymous Anonymous said... 1:57 pm

The Euro has just put the Dollar to the 2nd position.

Its not a pissing contest.

City, You seem to want to give the eurozone its very own Gordon Brown

I think you miss read him. He simply said it was technically necessary, not wished for.  



Anonymous flamingstratman said... 2:09 pm

Okay - EU a great problem. But as usual with great ideas it is the people which make the whole thing annoying. Politics in general lost credibility and I fear there´s no end to that. But I think the Euro just like the EU is a great idea in general and of course it costs a lot of money ( and also of course because so much is wasted), but at least we all have spent a lot of cash for far worse things. Of course it´s a shame what especially banks do within the Eurozone and I could sing you some songs of failing interactions between neighbouring countries - a bluest blues song... but still I think it´s a great idea.  



Anonymous nick drew said... 2:21 pm

C - didn't we surmise that Gordo would have a categoric refusal to enter the EUR on his "1st 100 days" list?

A propos of which, I see the Grauniad is yet again trailing in your wake today, with Lance Price offering his own thorts on this subject: he suggests

- apoint young, multi-ethnic Cabinet
- pay attention to what they say (there'd be a novelty!)
- abolish CofE Bishops from the Lords
- hold bilateral summits with EU partners

All of these pass the 'costs nothing' test (well, except paying attention to Cabinet which would be more than Brown's pride could bear), and from the lips of Lance Price they must surely carry great weight.

I can almost hear the chuch bells ringing out for the onset of the Brown premiership. What glories are in store for us.  



Anonymous Anonymous said... 2:21 pm

"On the upside, blog readership is advancing outre Manche, with 8,717,000 reading a blog at least once a month, up 29.6% on the year."

What else is there to do over Christmas? Rubbish on TV and newspapers brimming with drivel.  



Anonymous verity said... 2:40 pm

Flamingstratman - We are British; not European. This is an important point for you to remember.

A country that doesn't even have its own currency is weak, weak, weak.

Further, I guarantee you, Germany will be the first country out. I will welcome the day they leave and weaken the whole vile structure with gleeful malice.  



Blogger Praguetory said... 2:43 pm

Looks like you're attracting some of our Continental cousins - it's nice to have their refreshing outlook from time to time. FSM - politics loses credibility because when you vote at national level, the power of that vote has been diluted by the powers taken by the EU. For example, a convicted murderer has just won a case at European level for the right for prisoners to have the vote here in the UK. All major parties are opposed to this policy. It's not only about "the people" - it's also about the institution.

In many ways the EU is taking democracy backwards.  



Anonymous verity said... 3:21 pm

In many ways the EU is taking democracy backwards.

In every way. I cannot think of any instance where this does not apply.  



Anonymous peter hitchens said... 3:22 pm

God Bless the EU !
I just cannot wait for all those thieving Gypos that will be arriving in their millions next year.
And milions there will be not tens of thousands, the UK is Gypo heaven .
free house, free money no policing and we have to celebrate your diverse -stealing ,drug dealing, baby farming -ways or we get arrested and sent to prison.
Wonderful.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 3:38 pm

FSM is A - a personal friend, B - a 'civilian' and C - not a native speaker, so gently does it, please.  



Anonymous nick drew said... 3:41 pm

verity, you are a great believer in corporations, and there is at least one area - the energy sector - where the EC is on the side of the angels/against the old vested interests, in opening up the gas & elec markets - in the teeth of fierce FR and DE hostility.

This may or may not have anything to do with democracy, for all i know the FR and DE electorates may enjoy their distorted energy sectors + higher-then-necessary prices. In terms of free trade it is however v.important.  



Anonymous verity said... 3:51 pm

No. I am not a "great believer in corporations", many of which, like Enron, are gangsters. I am a great believer in capitalism. I believe in letting the market control the market.

I never tire of quoting that great American philosopher P J O'Rourke: When the water level rises, everyone's boats go up.  



Anonymous nick drew said... 4:03 pm

Fair enough v. I will settle for capitalism & free markets so my point stands, the EC is promoting exactly this in gas & elec, & against entrenched opposition, which is no small thing.

As regards Enron, ahem we are getting a bit close for comfort so I shall stop there.  



Anonymous peter hitchens said... 4:18 pm

mr drew it seems we have lived to see another dawn in scotton pinkey.

talking of corporate scandals, i have had a hand in one and worked for another
1990 i was a director of a lease company specialising in "flex leasing" along with atlantic computers we helped to bring dowm british and commonwealth bank (legally)
I also used to work for MCI worldcom prior to Mr Ebbers getting done for an even bigger fraud than that pulled of by enron.
perhaps i am just a jinx ?  



Anonymous hatfield girl said... 4:30 pm

'I think you miss read him. He simply said it was technically necessary, not wished for.'

You are right, Serf, his argument is technical necessity; but as the euro is up and running without these technical necessities, he isn't right yet.

Why did the United Kingdom join the Common Market? It was unsuitable then and the European Union is even more so now.

Being in the Union has just saved Italy's bacon, and over the years, variously, other members have benefitted greatly - spreading the costs of German re-unification and the redevelopment of the eastern part of Germany come instantly to mind.

Was there some narrow interest, briefly in power, that precipitated such a disastrous choice for so many central United Kingdom beliefs, concerns, interests? Though there were so many determined attempts to join that can't be right.

Anyway, I think the UK is much more comfortable in a cooler relationship with the Continent, particularly on the organisational, social and cultural imports brought in by NuLabour rather than the economic ties, than being a Union member but without the currency and thus lacking the clout.  



Anonymous nick drew said... 4:53 pm

Mr H, yes, jinx or no jinx (or even 2 jinxes) it is the miraculous restorative power of Fruit Pud that saved our bacon roll.

As for Enron, it is too soon. Someday the story shall be told (with pint in hand)  



Blogger Croydonian said... 5:02 pm

Re the Common Market, as it was, the late and thoroughly unlamented Edward Heath would appear to have been happy to engage in what even the most generous interpretation has to term, cough, a misleading presentation of what the Common Market was and would be. Compare and contrast the following:

"In his government white paper and in the House of Commons [he] stated : "There is no question of any erosion of essential national sovereignty; what is proposed is a sharing and an enlargement of individual national sovereignties in the general interest".

In 1973: "There is no European single state". In 1998 he was on Question time and this exchange took place: "...a European state, a single government, did you know about this when you took us in?". To which he replied, 'Of course, yes".  



Anonymous verity said... 5:19 pm

I am really sorry he is dead, because he deserves to be dragged through the streets by horses, or have to ride in a tumbril to Traitor's Gate.

The on-going mystery re Heath is: Why? I don't believe that someone who rose from being the son of a ladies' maid to being the PM had a strand of naiveté running through his character. He knew what he was doing. But why?  



Anonymous Anonymous said... 5:24 pm

Ms. Hatfield,

Just becauase the euro is currently running does not mean that systemic faults within its system will not rip it apart before, say 2010.

For example, without control of money supply there is no way for the EU to stop member countries printing money and national governments making hay. This has saved Italy for the last few years, ddespite attempts at 'austerity.' Why should Germany et al pay for this? The French, sharp as ever, are on this act too. Hence the growth and stability pact, which sought to stop this behviour, was abandoned.

All this causes inflation and the central bank can only control its interest rate to try and stem the tide. It won't work in the long-term and even now forces interest rates ot be controlled by the most profligate nations, not the most parsimonious. This then stirs countries to behave worse, as there is no reward for good financial behaviour.

The way to stop national governments from wreckcing the system is to do as they do in the USA; allocate the money centrally from a federal budget and then let the nations/states spend what they get.

This is the only way to run a single currency area; but it won't happen soon.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 5:25 pm

The *only* charitable explanation would have to be his desire to avoid another full scale war in Europe, I think.  



Anonymous peter hitchens said... 5:28 pm

The ongoing mystery re Heath is:
More than one surely? (+:

Why did he never marry?
How did he afford that house and all that art?
how did he afford Morning cloud?
he was also on good terms with chairman Mao, says it all really.
He is dead so we can say what we like, I think that he liked young boys, I don't buy into that asexual nonsense, nobody with an ego that large could be devoid of a sex drive.
It had to be boys, probably Chinese boys a predilection he would have shared with the late Wilfred Bramble.
Is a young gay chinese boy a "chink twink" ?  



Blogger Croydonian said... 5:37 pm

I've googled here and there and not turned up anything which names names.

This sounds all too believable an interpretation though:

"Mr Norman, who founded gay club Heaven, told the Evening Standard, "Unquestionably, he was a gay man."

"My feeling is that he took the cold, calculated decision as a young man to sacrifice his sex life in order to become Prime Minister. My partner, Derek Frost, decorated his house in Salisbury many years ago and we developed a friendship with him. Sir Edward would ring us up late at night. Basically, he was a lonely person. In his own rather crippled way he was reaching out to us without ever being able to say 'I want you as a friend'."

"There were times when I thought he was going to allow a little of his hemline to slip, but it never really did."


More here  



Anonymous nick drew said... 5:40 pm

I am with C on Heath, he travelled a lot in Europe immediately before ww2, wrote gushing newspaper articles abt how wonderful it all was. Next time he did the Grand Tour, it was wearing size 10 ammo boots.

Also he was chief whip in the mid 50's, probably no affection towards USA (Suez), accustomed to backstairs fixes.  



Anonymous peter hitchens said... 5:45 pm

interior decorators? (+:
An interest in sailors and choirs ??????????
Never had a girlfriend?
It doesn't exactly scream heterosexuality does it?
Plus the irrational sulking and bitchiness.
We will give him the benefit of the doubt and just assume that he was a bitter and twisted ,treacherous, repressed old queen.  



Anonymous peter hitchens said... 5:46 pm

backstairs fixes.

nice euphemism  



Anonymous verity said... 5:47 pm

I do not believe he thought it would prevent another war. He certainly wasn't a great thinker, but he was smart enough to realise that democracies don't attack each other.

I too think it was something to do with boys. I don't believe he "sacrificed his sex life". I think he was the rare type of gay who hates women. He always seemed to be rude and resentful towards women.

But I think he knew he was a traitor and that he was getting away with it.  



Anonymous verity said... 5:50 pm

PHitch - Why hold back?  



Anonymous verity said... 6:11 pm

Also, let's face it, the notion of a 30-year sulk is not manly. Men might well hold a grudge for 30 years and be determined to get their own back eventually, but sulking? No. Not a masculine trait.  



Anonymous hatfield girl said... 7:47 pm

City, The ECB has the sole target of holding down inflation and has all necessary instruments of control over euromoney supply. The US Fed would give its eyeteeth not to have to worry about longterm interest rates, exchange rate and unemployment.

You are right that in a fully federal system expenditure (not money) should be allocated from central budgets as in the US.

But in the US monetary system if the state of New York goes bankrupt this is a problem for its creditors, not for the dollar. By the same token, if Italy were to go bankrupt - financial markets do not believe this is going to happen , judging from the tiny interest rate differential on Italian government debt - this would be a problem for Italian government creditors, not for the euro.

Extreme circumstances might create a euro -area split, as happened in the rouble area in 1992, (this fantasy is cherished by a sacandinavian Financial Times journalist) but the EU is not the undemocratic, rigid, centralized , fossilized, socialist state structure that was the USSR.

It is certainly true that the EU does not have a central fiscal policy; and as I was remarking, thank goodness, we have no willingness to risk a European - scale Gordon Brown.  



Anonymous hatfield girl said... 8:03 pm

Oh, I forgot, it isn't quite the case that '.... the growth and stability pact, which sought to stop this behviour, was abandoned.'

In March 2005 the growth and stability pact was loosened slightly, to allow member-states larger deficits if they could demonstrate: high growth, low public debt, high public investment, costly structural reforms (pensions for instance) and other pertinent mitigating factors. But an intelligently reviewed fiscal constraint is still functioning and biting, ask Italian taxpayers.  



Anonymous verity said... 2:13 am

Mark my words, so to speak: the first one out of the euro - the Mark.  



Anonymous flamingstratman said... 7:34 am

verity, I don´t think the Mark will be back or Germany leaves the Euro... If I were british I´d bet on that :))
I´m very with you all in terms of the EU taking away democracy and I could give you some examples what it means to live near the new eastern EU states. But I´m still convinced of a united europe where you can stay german, french or british or whatever you are.
My congrats C - this seems to be an interesting place.  



Anonymous hatfield girl said... 9:39 am

The UK looks at the EU and sees all the disadvantages; it worries about the democratic deficit and consequent arbitrary changes in its own institutions and ways of settling things; because it isn't in the euro , while it pays its dues it doesn't really enjoy the benefits.

Your point, Flamingstratman, on democracy and choice problems being widely discussed and causing great concern is central: but for the member countries whole-heartedly in, the drawbacks are smaller, the benefits of union greater, and the level of generalized good will makes the discussion of necessary reforms and developments constructive rather than apocalyptic .

In the UK where membership is widely seen as disadvantageous it is driven home by a politics that seems wholly impervious to democratic choice.

We never get the chance to say plainly on th EU what we would like and it is this democratic deficit that gets projected onto the Union when actually it is ours.  



Anonymous verity said... 1:39 pm

Flamingstratman - Well, some (German) analysts disagree with you, so we'll just have to wait and see.

The EU was imposed on the British by a very strange man - the prime minister at the time who had a very weird pathology. He is widely hated.

I predict that the EU will break up and become a group of trading nations and those hundreds of thousands of people with their noses in the public trough will have to find real jobs or go on welfare.  



Anonymous peter in france said... 6:11 pm

The Germans will not be the first out of the Euro. They have their economy now on the right footing. They placed themselves at the right level when the Euro was formed. The intergration of East Germany would have taken a lot longer without the Euro. The Central European Bank is not in Frankfurt for nothing. The main language at that bank is English and we are not even in the Euro, how do you think that goes with the French.  



Blogger Beachhutman said... 5:52 pm

>>Free movement of labour; you've got it, and very convenient it is too.

I do wish people would learn their recent history. Freedom of labour is not from the EU. It was from the common market, (which we voted to join). Other things that are not from the EU include cheap air travel, cross border trade, and personal tax free imports. Some things that ARE from the EU are the daft post office pricing, uncontrollable immigration, and the fiasco that has become of directory enquiris.
The Euro was designed as a single currency for a single economy. The trick was to get the people of Europe to accept the single currencey, and then make them become a single country caled Europe. They rejected it, and will reject it again and again. So the Euro will not survive. When the Italian economy goes critical, the north Europeans will NOT want to bail them out. And there are going to be 27 countries all capable of totally screwing up the Euro economy ..............  



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