The Ultimate Threat In The Euro Bailout and Austerity Racket: War

Wolf Richter's picture

Wolf Richter

There have been waves of threats by Eurozone politicians to bully people into accepting “whatever it takes” to keep the shaky construct of the monetary union glued together. These threats peaked last year with disorderly default, and when that wasn’t enough, with the collapse of the Eurozone. But now, the ultimate threat has been pronounced: war.

It wasn’t an idle thought by a wayward parliamentarian on the radical fringe but a well-articulated statement by Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker who was, until January, the President of the Eurogroup that manages the political aspects of the euro. And he’d picked Europe’s largest magazine, Der Spiegel, to make it (excerpts here, rest behind pay wall).

He’d alluded to it before. Last August, as he was jabbering about Greece’s potential exit from the Eurozone, he lamented that “many Germans and the German media” talked about Greece as if it were “a people you couldn’t respect,” and that Greeks depicted Chancellor Angela Merkel as if she were “the heiress of the Nazis.” And then his big threat, albeit in veiled form: “What we thought had been buried long ago, very quickly rises again.”

His problem: the halting integration of Europe. European countries were small, but there was a solution. “We must show the world something giant, and that’s the euro,” he said. He wanted Europeans to integrate more closely. And not just within the EU, but “the total continent, with extensions”—so maybe Turkey. They’d all eventually use the euro. And if it didn’t work out....

That was last year. Now, given the Italian election, he made it explicit. “For my generation, the common currency has always been a policy of peace,” he said. He was worried that people were getting lost in national naval gazing. “Those who believe that the eternal question of war and peace in Europe would never reappear could be seriously mistaken,” he said. “The demons aren’t gone; they’re only sleeping, as the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo have shown.”

The possibility of war—unless the euro survived and became the currency of the entire EU.

He was struck by the realization how much the European conditions resembled those of 1913, on the eve of World War I. But then, after having thrown “war” on the table, he backed off; he didn’t believe that Europe was facing armed conflicts, but he saw “conspicuous parallels.” In 1913, the prevailing wisdom was that there could never be another war in Europe because the powers on the continent were economically so interwoven that they couldn’t afford it, he said. “Particularly in Western and Northern Europe, there reigned a complacency that assumed that peace had been secured forever.”

By 2050, Europe would have about 7% of the world population, he said. In order to remain relevant, it would have to be united. The heads of the governments in Germany, France, and Great Britain knew that their voices were heard internationally only because they were speaking through the “megaphone” of the EU.

And the EU’s destiny was the euro. He listed proudly the “serious reforms” that had been carried out, like keeping Greece in the Eurozone—regardless of what that did to the Greeks whose belts had been tightened by five notches, or what it did to their  economy that would be downgraded to “developing nation” effective June 2013. He praised the bailout funds and the European banking union—regardless of how they’d use taxpayers in some countries to bail out banks and their investors in others.

But hadn’t the elections in Italy shown that Southern Europeans weren’t all that enthusiastic about his glorious plans? Hadn’t Italian voters just demolished Prime Minister Mario Monti and his pro-euro course of reforms and austerity? It didn’t matter. Abandoning the austerity policies “would be a big mistake,” he explained. Politicians shouldn’t promote the “wrong policies” just because they were afraid they’d lose the next election. “If you want to govern, you must take responsibility for your country and Europe overall. And that means: you must implement the correct policies even if many voters find them wrong.”

A curious understanding of democracy. One fraught with peril. But one that has become all too common in the Eurozone where the will of the people has consistently been trampled into the ground. To make his message more persuasive, to get politicians to toe the line, to get taxpayers in financially stable countries to give up resisting the transnational wealth transfers, and to get the people in crisis countries to swallow without demur the bitter pills of his reform programs, he’d added what has become the ultimate threat in the euro bailout and austerity racket—the possibility of war.

But there may be complications. The ECB and the national central banks of the Eurozone set out to collect information on household wealth. A massive bureaucratic undertaking. Results are now ready. No one in Europe had ever done a survey on that scale before. And no one might ever do it again. Because the results are so explosive that the Bundesbank is keeping its report secret—and word has leaked out why. Read....  A “Politically Explosive” Secret: Italians Are Over Twice As Wealthy As Germans.

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Aegelis's picture

"Ohhh, war, I despise
Because it means destruction
Of innocent lives

War means tears
To thousands of mothers eyes
When their sons go to fight
And lose their lives

I said, war, huh
Good God, y'all
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing." War, Edwin Starr

Overdrawn's picture

The Greek government recently made an agreement with the successor company of Blackwater to hire mercenaries for the protection of Parliament.”

They were thrown out of Iraq, moved to ...Afghanistan and what type of Government would employ mercenaries to act against it's own people? But Greece had it's Parliament imposed on it by the EEC, so guess it's a warning to Spain and Italy as well.

Hobbleknee's picture

Which country in this lame scenario does not have an American military base in it? 

We're to believe all of these occupied territories with virtually no military are going to do what?

andrewp111's picture

Oh, please. Let there be an EU Civil War over the Euro. I can't wait to see it happen.  There are so many ways it could start ( a few examples listed below), but once it starts war takes on a life of its own.

Greek secession, Wehrmacht goes in to enforce debt

Spanish coup over regional secession, Wehrmacht goes in to restore order

Italians repudiate debt and leave Euro,  ECB/EU Commission drafts EU army and sends in troops

Cypress banks fail, Russian army goes in to force ECB bailout to  protect Oligarchs

Germany leaves Euro, France threatens the use of nukes to preserve the Union

EU Federal Government (Commission, ECB, Council) drafts the unemployed youth to keep them busy, and then has a big army to play with for EU enforcement


desirdavenir's picture

none of these is even remotely plausible with people's current view on the union. Remember that these armies that you send to war are composed of citizens of countries who still think a nation is more important than the whole union.


On the other hand, Greek secession, severe economic disruption, Golden Dawn access to power and brutalizes minorities, this could be an acceptable reason for humanitarian intervention (à la Yougoslavia). Also, hords of migrants fleeing a country repressive gouvernement, and so on. 

shovelhead's picture

Save the BANKS or we will kill you.

Release the Portugese!

lasvegaspersona's picture

when things get rough 'you have to lie'...JC Junker

Maybe he has a secret he can't tell?

ebworthen's picture

I think you meant "navel" gazing versus "naval" gazing.

The Chinese are the ones naval gazing, and before long will control the Pacific.

The Euro and the E.U. - You can't replace nationalism with a banker run hegemony removed from the legislative and judicial reach of citizens and expect good things.

If you wanted to chart a course to a post WWII war in Europe I can't think of a better plan than letting bankers force a common currency and vaguely elected EU Parliament members and Parliament headquartered in Brussels to fuck the common citizen over and ensure that the sins and enmities of the past are perpetuated.

This will of course lead to a resurgence in nationalism and a re-balkanization of Europe.

Rather than let unity come from the free association of individuals there was the notion to cram it down people's throats with banks and bankers running the show.

Is it any wonder it isn't working?

q99x2's picture

If countries want to stop war they will go after the few banking families and prosecute them. Instant end to war. If your nation is being threatened stop it the peaceful way.

Radical Marijuana's picture

The banksters ALWAYS offer the same deal: "Debt slavery or war."

There is nothing new, except for the amplification to astronomical size. The basis of slavery was always "Do what I say, or I will kill you." Debt slavery is merely a more sophisticated form of slavery, whereby the banksters were able to take control of governments, in order to impose debt slavery upon the entire population, which is forced to pay for its own enslavement. The banksters were always the best organized gangs of criminals, who used the methods of organized crime to dominate the political processes, so that an otherwise utterly insane system could be established, namely, privatized fiat money, made out of nothing, as debts, wherein the entire population of taxpayers are forced to agree with becoming perpetual debt slaves, while they also are forced to pay for the enforcement of the legal systems which make them become debt slaves.

Since the structure of the debt slavery system puts it on an exponential growth curve, the necessary numbers drive that debt slavery to become debt insanity. It was ALWAYS actually the triumph of force backed frauds, controlling the entire population. The end result of the triumph of that system reduces the vast majority of people to being Zombie Sheeple, effectively herded by a relatively small percentage of Vicious Wolves, where those Sheeple end up paying for there to be Dogs to police them, which are just slightly more domesticated Vicious Wolves.

For Centuries, more and more, the banksters have been behind all sides in the wars and revolutions. Everything that organizations like NATO do, under the direction of the Anglo-American (Zionist) Empire, is to advance the interests of the banksters, who are the ones that always end up making profit from the wars, especially since those wars are the best way to drive societies deeper into debt, as well as get those countries even more used to operating as fascist police states, serving the interests of the fascist plutocracy, that is the basic system operated by the banksters.  Plutocracy is government by the wealthy. The banksters are the most wealthy, because they have gained the privatized ability to legally counterfeit the money supply, while controlling the governments to enforce that fraud against the entire population of taxpayers.



The entire financial system is simply sophisticated slavery, through the overall accounting system. The social pyramid systems of Neolithic civilization are THE SAME NOW, as they have been for thousands of years. They only became more sophisticated, and ASTRONOMICALLY AMPLIFIED IN SIZE.

The current reality is global electronic fiat money frauds, backed up by the threat of atomic bombs. The current reality is about a quadrillion units of "money" made out of nothing, to use to gamble with, backed up by weapons of mass destruction enough to kill quadrillions of people. That is an utterly insane and totally irrational "reality" which has been created by the banksters' triumphant systems of debt slavery, backed by wars based on deceits. That is headed towards becoming even more impossible debt insanity, backed by genocidal wars, along with democidal martial law.

Meanwhile, the overwhelming vast majority of people continue to be Zombie Sheeple, while every significant institution in our civilization continues to be controlled by the most Vicious Wolves, the banksters. There are no reasonable grounds to believe that that will change in any other ways that getting worse, faster!

The most we usually get in the way of alternative ideas is more of the same old-fashioned impossible ideals, based on false fundamental dichotomies, from a few of the Black Sheep, (which are most of the group the bother to post comments on Zero Hedge.)


Any coherent debate about how to have a better money system, backed by a better murder system, which should be the topic of rational discussions of political economy within human ecology, might as well be on the dark side of the moon. Our entire society is almost totally dominated by the current systems of Vicious Wolf People and Zombie Sheep People, with a range in between, from Dogs to Black Sheep.

As far as I can tell, any more rational debates of the death controls that should back up the debt controls is practically impossible to exist within the current context of our civilization, which is almost totally dominated by professional liars and immaculate hypocrites. Indeed, as far as I can tell, at the present time, it appears to mostly be a waste of time to bother to learn how utterly insane our fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting system is, because it is even more surely a waste of time to bother to advocate that we should change that.

Instead, we are in a runaway system of debt slavery, backed by wars based on deceits, which ARE going to become debt insanity, backed by insane wars! The only reasonably probable future appears to be debt insanity driven until it collapse into chaos, which WILL result in social storms that become genocidal wars, along with democidal martial law. There appears to be nothing else that an educated Black Sheep can really do, except wait and watch as that happens ...

max2205's picture

There more italian $ in backyards and in swiss

Vegetius's picture

Interesting that its Junker that comes out with this, I love the self justifing bullshit “For my generation, the common currency has always been a policy of peace,” he said. And there was me thinking it was a way for you and you Eurotrash groupies to fill your pockets and rule without the need for Demos. It was OK to force Countries who rejected Referendums to vote until you got the answer you wanted. OK for you to act as the new Aristocracy. But the tab is coming due and you don't want to pay well don't worry its you wife and kids who will go to the Re-education Camps.

I loath people like you Junker, you created this fucking mess  but its not you to blame, its the people. It will be someone alright who demand the payment owed, when they come for you in the night.


“Any institution which does not suppose the people good, and the magistrate corruptible, is evil”


orez65's picture

War? Give me a break!

You think that their unionized armies will fight?

Those on entitlements will fight?

That Bernanke will finance the war?

A plus of their socialism is that the Europeans have become the "walking dead"

Nussi34's picture

We will fight the Eurocrats and chop off the hea of roumpy Pompy & Emporer Barroso!

lolmao500's picture

Juncker, just like Paulson, is threatening the apocalypse if his banksters friends don't get more power and more money. Fuck him up the ass with a rusty chainsaw.

lindaamick's picture

Good Grief.  Is it coming to this threat?

I swear if the peoples of Europe decide to war with each other (the masses do the fighting), obeying these Elite psychopaths, I will give up on humanity.

At least the internet is around now offering some possibility that war can be averted due to the exposure to the light of these leader's sociopathy.

I  say, get rid of the eurozone.  Get rid of the nation state idea altogether.  Nation states are nothing more than the consolidation of power into a few hands.   Let people go back to communal living.   Globalism ONLY benefits the few and starves the rest as the corporations become the rulers of the world.

magpie's picture

Not quite clear who he is threatening. Greece, Germany, Russia, Norway ? Or does the EU need Italian marble ?

mjrIi's picture

Naval gazing?  Why are they watching ships?

frenchie's picture

fuck you juncker !

falak pema's picture

mixing a political agenda with an economic agenda, the Euro; standing on ONE leg by the looks of it (no fiscal leg); and trying to reconcile TWO economic models around ONE political platform (rally around the flag boys!), is a game which resembles the crowded Cabin scene in A night at the Opera...Marx Bros at their best! 

Marx Brothers: "A Night at the Opera" The Complete Stateroom Scene - YouTube

Imagine if this ended in War! 

I think these EU shills should go see that movie. 

sangell's picture

War is a very efficient way to reduce youth unemployment and stimulate manufacturing.

Dead Canary's picture

You're forgetting, a lot of great songs come out of war.

Whiner's picture

You sheeple need to be controlled, managed, manipulated. You've been pen-fed to the point to loss of self thinking. We will tell you what to think, what to do and when to do it. Now go back to your made up jobs and your TV brain killer sets. Eat your gruel and shut up. All your liberties are now belong to us!

BlueCheeseBandit's picture

The trouble with democracy is it makes it harder for those with the reins of government to do whatever they want.

hootowl's picture

I think you are referring to a constitutional republic.  A democracy is nothing but mob rule.

Dead Canary's picture

I like how Democracy has become Populism. The ignorant unwashed masses must be forced into the right policies for their own good. Isn't this how it all started in Germany?

falak pema's picture

the question is why USA so politically active in 1975 has become so politcally amorphous and illiterate in 2013....what happened in those 35+ years? 

ConfederateH's picture

Why "so politcally amorphous and illiterate in 2013"?  Drugs. legal, illegal and electronic.

Winston of Oceania's picture

They are using what they know of the mind against us. Try to converse with a person twenty or younger and see how long it takes them to check their phone or tablet while talking to you, completely distracted and incapable of deep thought. There are some interesting shows on Discovery Channel called Mind Games; watch them online and you will begin to see what I mean. The human mind can only focus on one thing at a time and distraction is the name of the game.

hootowl's picture

Dumbed-down public education through dumbed-down teachers and PC educational administrators.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

The man is a moron.  Someone put him out of his misery.

ElvisDog's picture

You would think a European leader would know something about European history. The present is nothing like 1913. By 1913 all the major powers in Europe had been gearing up for war for the last 10 years. They were in a furious arms race, they all had detailed plans to invade their neighbors. War had almost broken out 1 or 2 time prior to 1913. Where is any of that today? Nowhere.

Dead Canary's picture

Just what I'd expect from an inbred Targarian.

(Oh, are you talking about Wolf or that banker shill?)

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Moi?  I just do not see a real war in Europe.

magpie's picture

Perhaps Eurogendfor to Hungary...they are debasing faster than they should.

CharlieSDT's picture


Thursday night is the weekly hang for the EU and related kids in the square near to the EU in Brussels, so I rolled down there with an open mind to see how the scene was. There were a couple thousand young staffers for the EU and and young workers for all the attendant leech non-governmental lobbying and charity organizations that gather round big government shit like those little fish that swim around a big fish eating the seaweed off their gills.

 I was shocked how many people I spoke to who appeared quite intelligent that had no understanding of the amount of shit that the Eurozone is in right now. I kept hearing these Euretards saying something like,

The Euro will be ok, they just need to contain the crisis and everything will be fine. French people will continue to be able to work 35 hours weekly and take the summer off for their country house and there will be permanent peace and prosperity in Europe despite the continent’s 2000+ year history of war, genocide, and financial Great Devaluations. But now, we have finally changed human nature and solved all those pesky problems, and of course the world center of that historic accomplishment is of course…


Brussels! The home of the Euretards. Just don’t bother, dudes.

Freddie's picture

How many centuries have the European elites, monarchy, bankster families (many of them "Barons" in the UK) have engaged in the BUSINESS of Europeans murdering each other?  These wars are investments that py handsome dividends.

When mass murder a;sp known as "wars" brings great profits - the elites are right there.  Make money on enslaving people with fiat currency and killing them after the fiat ponzi has run it's course.

Poor Europeans, poor Asians, poor Africans, Americans and S Americans.  Same elites, same playbook.