Former UBS Chairman: "The EU Was A Great Idea But It Has Been Ridden To Death"

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by former UBS Chairman Peter Kurer, originally posted at,

The traveller around Europe steps out of his hotel on Via Veneto, into the bright, warm light. A morning breeze from the north blows gently down from the Borghese gardens and along the street. The light combined with the fresh air gives the day a feeling of ease, such as is rarely encountered, and therefore the traveller, known to the kind reader from previous appearances in columns on this website, is in a cheerful and enterprising mood. He sets out to explore Rome in the springtime.

The city has not yet lost its great soul. True, Via Veneto is no longer what it used to be; the street faithfully accompanied the Cinecittà in its decline. Gone are the legendary stars of the silver screen, like Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg. The marble and imperial splendour of the Excelsior also looks a little tired. But much remains from the best times. The Spanish Steps are thronged with tourists, buskers and street traders, even in March; the Babuino still reclines, relaxed and satirical in the old square; and the Vatican gardens are still a wonderful centre of power, a unique quiet place of refuge in an area brimming with vitality.

«Bizarre, Disgusting Contents»

The traveller enjoys the splendour of Rome. He continues along Via Veneto now, soon turning right into a side street. Here the splendour shows some cracks. Around a garbage container, front and back, left and right, and scattered a few metres away, lie brightly-coloured garbage bags, or plain plastic bags, carefully tied or hardly closed, often torn and spilling their bizarre and disgusting contents onto the street.

Heading towards Via Crispi, the surefooted traveller seeks out his favourite shirt shop. While being fitted in finely textured cotton, he draws the signora into a deep political discussion. What is going on with the garbage, he asks. Previously, the shop owner explains, they used to collect the garbage from in front of each house but today residents have to take it somewhere. And why do you empty your window display every night, you are not a jewellery store? Otherwise they would break my window and steal the shirts and ties, she answers. And what do you think of the new mayor? She is a crazy young woman, the signora thinks, a grillista, and clueless to boot. From time immemorial, Rome has been a city of factions and cliques: you have to know how to hold that together, and how to muddle through. Raggi is not up to that.

«Rome is like a living allegory for Europe»

In all its glory and misery, Rome is like a living allegory for Europe. The old continent is still full of splendour, diverse, culturally rich, beautiful to travel around and entertaining unlike any other region of the world. But a gloominess has settled over the splendour, the people are insecure, ill-humoured, often angry, they don’t know where the journey is leading. The crazy and the clueless are in charge. And to the left and right, lie the inherited burdens, which are not being cleared away. The EU ploughs through the waves in a swaying ship, as if the helmsman were drunk.

There are many explanations for this development, for the political misery, the rise of the crazy and clueless. Some say the elites have failed; others say the people have been left behind. The traveller around Europe ponders these questions. While musing, his wanderings take him to the Hotel de Russie. He asks a waiter standing in the corner if he may sit at the small table. Without moving a muscle, the waiter says he is not from here, and then the traveller sees the device in the man’s ear. Shortly afterwards the mystery is solved.

«This is an intellectual flying altitude that remains closed to the traveller»

Sitting at the next table is a former minister president and enthusiastic EU politician. He explains to his friends the reasons for the gloom in Europe and elsewhere. When he comes to the finale of his long performance, his expression becomes even more grim, he leans his head forward and points, without realising it, in the direction of the Villa Borghese: La politica mondiale si orienta quasi ovunque verso un aumento e non una diminuzione della concentrazione del potere. The amazed listeners spontaneously cry: Bravo! Brilliante!

This is an intellectual flying altitude that remains closed to the traveller, to his regret. He steers clear of extensive explanatory models. He seizes the subject pragmatically and traces the steps backwards, as he has learnt to do, through an imaginary decision tree, to find out what went wrong. After some back and forth of internal dialogue, he has persuaded himself by the time the ristretto is served: the problem of the continent lies in the condition of the EU.

«They are closely tied and together form the Gordian knot of the continent»

Following an unfortunate combination of wrong decisions at the top and the uncontrolled flourishing of a self-serving bureaucracy, the union has moved in a direction where it has become a prisoner of its own constructed reality. Putting it somewhat simply, the EU, after making good progress in the early years and serving peace, made two fundamental mistakes since the Maastricht Treaty that have become inherited burdens today, and that we would do better to get rid of. They are closely tied and together form the Gordian knot of the continent:

  • The first problem is the euro. This artificial currency was imposed on an economic area that is too uneven to support a uniform currency. The euro is too weak for some, too strong for others. In Germany’s case, it is significantly undervalued, boosting the export economy, but at the same time driving up the price of many everyday imported items, causing consumers to lose out and not to benefit from being world champion exporters.

It is the opposite in the south where the euro is overvalued. Industries located there cannot keep up and are being forced out of the market. The consumers in these countries benefit from cheap imports but are often low-income or even unemployed. Balancing measures such as a transfer union or a standardized fiscal policy are not available in the economic area.

«To the elites, the EU is a means to get rich quickly and export their problems»

All this is being accompanied by a certain austerity in state payments, which is more of an exacerbating factor rather than the actual cause of the problem, contrary to what people who blame Germany for everything like to think.

  • The second burden is the failed eastern expansion of the union. Again, for political reasons, the states of the east of the continent, formerly under Soviet influence, were too hurriedly pushed into full EU membership. These countries were not and are not suited to so close an alliance with Western states. They lack a sufficient degree of democratization and rule of law. The development of an economic infrastructure and understanding of good economic and state governance are lacking.

To the elites of these countries, the EU is a means to get rich quickly and export their problems. They have nothing but contempt for the well-meaning but somewhat naïve political programmes of the Brussels bureaucracy. Corruption is more than ever the central governing instrument. The region is increasingly a source of discord within the wider European region and produces an abundance of crazy and clueless leaders, such as Orban, Kaczinski and others.

  • The third problem is the glorification of the free movement of people. This did not exist in the original European order in its current radical form, but was introduced and implemented in such a way to cushion the negative consequences of the euro and the expansion eastwards. The inclusion of the Eastern European countries into the EU subjected their economies to the harsh demands of the free market and destroyed state enterprise which had provided better job security for workers.

If the strong West could introduce goods and services in the East, the thinking went, then the states of Eastern Europe should have the right to export their citizens to the West, to keep unemployment under control. In the countries where the euro was introduced, this mechanism was strengthened because the most competitive western and northern countries increasingly imported their goods into southern and eastern regions, instead of producing them there, which again increased the migration pressure.

«The traveller enjoyed Europe, despite its allegorical weight»

Over the years, the uncontrolled free movement of people led to a brain drain in the south and east, to the emigration of the brightest and best to the West. The result in the destination countries was an immigration pressure that many could not endure and felt as a threat. The great English philosopher Roger Scruton summed it up drily, when he called free movement a stupid concept: the same could be said about the eastern expansion and the euro.

The traveller enjoyed Europe, despite its allegorical weight. On a beautiful Sunday morning, he drives together with a foreign friend to Fiumicino. Beforehand he attended Mass in the Basilica Santa Maria del Popolo. There the priest let the congregation go with a beautiful vision: the Mass is ended, go in peace. At the airport, the friend asks, as he extends his hand in farewell: And you Swiss, when you will finally join the EU? Or at least sign up to an institutional framework agreement?

«The EU had its chances»

Not in my lifetime, says the traveller, to the question of joining the bloc. A framework agreement is currently being negotiated by the government. But you can already forget it. Politically it has no chance of survival. At the end of the day we are not crazy and also not totally clueless, the European traveller says, somewhat on the offensive.

The EU was a great idea but it has been ridden to death. Back in 1992, almost half of Swiss voted to join the European Economic Area, including the traveller. If there was a vote today on joining the union, the latest polls say just 15 per cent would vote yes.

The EU had its chances. It squandered them, and maybe it will come to an end in the foreseeable future under the weight of its burdens: La messa è finita, andate in pace.

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Déjà view's picture

High Horse...A Greek Trojan Horse...

TheGardener's picture

„If the strong West could introduce goods and services in the East, the thinking went, then the states of Eastern Europe should have the right to export their citizens to the West“


So destroying those national economies industry , thus disenfranchising and uprooting it`s people

to became slaves of the West in much the same way as had been executed on East Germany

was the purpose and intend of this eastern expansion ? Is that what „the thinking went“ implies ?


Someone explain this pure and unadulterated criminal intent from the outset to the thus affected populations.

ThirdWorldNut's picture

Official unemployment in Italy and spain is 19%, 23% while in Germany it is 3.9%

Why aren't spanish and italians taking advantage of free movement and simply moving over to Germany? 


Like most things about EU, even the benefits of free movement are theoretical.

D. G. Neree's picture

"The EU ploughs through the waves in a swaying ship, as if the helmsman were drunk."

Well, Juncker is an alcoholic and nearly always drunk, so this is right on the spot.

Nexus789's picture

Not only drunk on the bridge but the engine has failed as the seas of change get a lot rougher

yogibear's picture

These college students and professors would have made Joseph Stalin proud under him.

thisandthat's picture

"La politica mondiale si orienta quasi ovunque verso un aumento e non una diminuzione della concentrazione del potere."

"World politics heads almost always towards an increase, not decrease of concentration of power.", if anyone was wondering.

Troy Ounce's picture


Another expensive elite pet project down the drain.


kellys_eye's picture

Missing the elephant in the room entirely......

As an economic creation (for trade purposes) it was a valid and reasonable way forward.  The instant it decided to become a political construct it was doomed to failure.  Cultural and language differences made this an impossible task other than by 'force' and we see now precisely what that resulted in.

The current [u]politically motivated[/u] importing of yet more intransigence in the form of cultures that are external to even those already exant in the EU pours oil on the fire.  The leadership saw what was going 'wrong' yet continue to exacerbate the situation.  Is this as a result of their hubris or a deliberate effort to demolish the structure in order to raise something entirely different from the ashes?

eltxamo's picture

exactly, Europe had any chance if everyone were teached english and it was spoken at the workplace. however. And brexit, oh the irony, that we have to speak in english to understand each other and the british leave just before the party is over, right in time to not clean the dishes...

Ghordius's picture

your opinion here is often found in England

particularly the "The instant it decided to become a political construct it was doomed to failure" part

the problem, though, is that it is a-historical. It did not happen this way.

that "instant" was five years, from  the MontanUnion (European_Coal_and_Steel_Community) in 1952 to the Treaty of Rome 1957.

the first, a political-economical alliance regarding resources, and the other a political-economical alliance regarding country cooperations

two clubs to which the UK was invited, and replied (roughly) "no, and it won't work"

two clubs which say: members won't go to stupid measures like embargoes or wars because of resources like coal, steel, oil, natgas, and they won't go to stupid measures that involve standards, like industry standards, environmental standards and worker's rights standards

that's the basis of those political alliances, and the tool is still the same: a National Law that is identical with that of another Nation (or more of them), a shared, "common" Law (no, not "Common Law") that is first agreed upon in negotiations between two or more executives (read: governments) and then passed by the elected National Parliaments involved (aka ratified). Also known as Treaty

I don't know how this myth about the EU not being something political first, economical second ever rose up. But the intent of those two treaties should be clear: "we share resources, we are family enough for that"

see the UK exiting? well, it's all about what resources it will be able to access or not, which laws and standards is going to share or not, and how much political bitching is allowed to do around those matters

David Davis, the UK's "Brexit" Secretary, just recently said he wants to keep the EU-shared European Banking Authority and the EU-shared European Medicines Agency... in the UK

that's the EU: "shared stuff", like sharing the cost of a regulator, or an agency, you know, the stuff that makes so many pundits go insane

that's two of 30-odd regulators/agencies that european countries in the EU share, in the sense of sharing their costs but also their regs

and this is another faces of the EU which is never discussed in the UK: how much does it cost to have everything national? and... does it improve any positions when bargaining with other, foreign agencies? what happens when a country refrains from having one of those?

ThirdWorldNut's picture

So your biggest argument in favour of EU is to pool the regulatory agencies together and save some money?!

I admit I'm geniunely dumbfoudned. I've run into lot of died in the wool Europhiles over the last 2 decades, but never seen such an astounding lack of critical thought. There is so much wrong with your line of "thinking", if it can be called thinking at all, that I dont even know where to even start correcting you. 

Ghordius's picture

who said it's even an argument? Brexiteers believed "350 millions per week", remember?

TheReplacement's picture

Sorry G, explain and defend it all day long but the EU is dying. In fact, it is already dead. Like a headless (Britain) chicken the body is still running around flapping its wings but eventually the heart (Germany) will run out of blood to pump and the whole thing will collapse. We can already see the body working to preserve the core while slowly sacrificing the appendages (PIIGS).

The only solution for Europe is a European army and a grand crusade. Manufacturing will go up, unemployment down, and maybe you can even conquer some new vastly wealthy territory. So the dream goes. If that does successfully come to pass (which I highly doubt) you will reach the finish line and finally see the Stars and Stripes on the hill you've just climbed.

Much too good for Europe.

TwoHoot's picture

Greetings Ghordius, from the Texas barbarian who reads your posts to gather some idea about the rationalization behind the actions of a failing EU. Usually, I am content to take what you offer and give nothing in return. Today, I will offer some observations that may not be well received.

First, you haggle over arcane details in the treaties that form the basis of the EU and provide a framework on which to hang more detailed rules and regulation. The problems aren't in the details, the problems are in the basic concept. We barbarians would say you are trying to polish a turd. It won't work.

European economic and political thought stopped a hundred and fifty years ago when Europe as a whole began to devote all its talent and energy to making socialism work. It hasn't proven successful and it won't. It leads invariably to tyranny and massive human suffering in whatever culture practices it. I suspect you know this down deep within yourself, but detailed rationalization can protect the conscious mind from disturbing reality for a surprisingly long time. Welcome to the world of Cognitive Dissonance.

After giving the world Martin Luther to defrock the pope, European thinkers decided to abandon the Christian foundation of European ethics and morals. Socialists are their own God and define right and wrong however it suits them. That astonishing hubris will bring a theocracy (Marxist and/or Islamic) to Europe that is a thousand times more oppressive and bloody than Christianity at its worst.

As Stephen King said repeatedly in his Gunslinger (Dark Tower) series, the world has moved on. So must Europe.

Entertain some post-Marx ideas. You could keep it in the family and check into Ludwig von Meises down in Austria or even the Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto. There are other ideas out there. Shuffling minutia is a waste of time.

thisandthat's picture

EU has never been about freedom, whether economical or political.

It has been posted here on Monet, that he explicitly rejected democracy for Europe, and that his goal was for it to be ruled by financiers and industrialists, by lying all along to the electorship about their actual goals, if needed be, which is what we have now.

Fundies's picture

Riding the fucker direct to the glue factory. 

williambanzai7's picture

Correction: Juncker is a drunken ass fucker.

Ghordius's picture

lol. another article all about the insufferable easyness of living in the eurozone

yes, it's a gordian knot. no, you don't have to be tied with it, the UK is exiting

"Back in 1992, almost half of Swiss voted to join the European Economic Area, including the traveller. If there was a vote today on joining the union, the latest polls say just 15 per cent would vote yes."

disingenuos, then Switzerland has 200+ treaties with the EU which amount to a 67% membership with fees but no vote, so why vote yes for a less bespoke deal... which Brexit might even threathen soon, btw?

bah, the usual sermon to the faithful. no argument, just the old, tired fingers pointing

Switzerland is even part of Schengen, for criminy, that's more then the UK would ever dare

Jubal Early's picture

I figured Dildodius would show up to spew his pro-EU manure.  And once again, just like the MSM and their never ending stream of debunked lies, he raises his "200 treaties" canard.  Once again I will point out that these "treaties" were created by an undemocratic elitist government in Brussels againt the wishes of the people it treats like ignorant slaves.  The EU is really just the jew gauleiter for the zio-genocide-concentration camp that used to be called "Europe".  And DIldodius is proud of all the history and culture his fellow marxists have destroyed.


Ghordius's picture

"Once again I will point out that these "treaties" were created by an undemocratic elitist government in Brussels againt the wishes of the people it treats like ignorant slaves"

the mentioned 200 plus are bilateral treaties between the EU and Switzerland, all ratified by two elected parliaments and including five Swiss popular referenda on the matters treated within

kellys_eye's picture

"you don't have to be tied with it"

No, but woe betide anyone that dare object to the 'plan' or, worse still, expose the heirarchy for the stupidity of their plans for total political control They can't even act with any sense of reasonableness when there is opposition to their plans - it's all 'their way or no way' - exposing their totalitarianism let alone their dictatorship.

Even conceeding small requests (as Cameron tried to take to) was beyond them despite the fact that this exposed their arrogance to a British public that were already more than just suspicious of their motives - the turning point for Brexit.

Their 'little by little' approach has been exposed - and recent events leading to Brexit plus the subsequent brazen 'screw you' attitude from the EU leadership since then have shown the Emperor to indeed be naked.

Ghordius's picture

good. then tell me and the audience here what Cameron requested and 27 other countries rejected

because that's what happened

one country, the UK, had a request for changing the club's rules, and twenty-seven countries told it that they did not like the request

is that the reason for the British Nation to consider all other Nation States... arrogant? or just all their governments?

because that "EU Leadership" was Cameron, too. that's what a EU Council meeting is: the meeting of Cameron, PM, with the other Prime Ministers, his peers, all aided by previous, lower-level meetings of National Ministers like May was as "Home Secretary", and even those prepared first by a diplomatic corp from each country, like the UK's ambassador to the EU, Mr. Ivan Rogers, who quit right after the Brexit referendum vote

the EU Leadership, the "EuroCrats", that is it: national ministers. national governments (leading sovereign countries) based on majorities in elected national parliaments

so your approach is to call the consensus of 27 countries' ministers in how to treat Britain's team of ministers "subsequent brazen 'screw you' attitude from the EU leadership"? fine, but does it have any base... in reality?

Sirius Wonderblast's picture

You can forget trying to use Maceroon as any kind of example of anything. He was part of the EU problem, and hence he's gone. Yes, the Eurocrats are high handed and detached from reality, just as they like it. Also uttely decadent, corrupt and incompentent. Hence we are getting shot of them, too.

Sirius Wonderblast's picture

The writer partly gets it, but cannot as part of the contentintal economic elite get past the idea that the elites got it wrong. The Euro that only the elites wanted. The internal migration that ruins the departed countries , causes disruption and tension in destination countries and enslaves people at both. The global posturing.  The attempt at empire. The gross benefit to a very few andimpoverishment of the very many. The utter unaccountability and corruption - the eastern states were by no means the leaders in that. The whole damned thing stinks and needs to go.


Ghordius's picture

"The internal migration that ruins the departed countries"
you want to build a wall to keep people.... in their country? Iron Curtain style?

Ecclesia Militans's picture

The UK can conduct bilateral immigration accords with various nation states in Eastern Europe to keep its NHS staffed with cheap labor.  No need for some Metternichian contrivance that is clearly not working for the balance of the continent.  And as far as the Euro: that was projected to fail back during its introduction in 1999.  You do not have the ability to project power to defend your currency.

Ghordius's picture

what military power is needed if you don't have imbalances, particularly trade deficits?

Sirius Wonderblast's picture

Ask your beloved Eurocrats, because they have created vast imbalances that have crushed southern Europe and blighted the lives of many millions there, all the while earnestly seeking to create a euro-army under their unaccountable control. Can't you see the totalitarian/dystopian reality of it yet?

Sandmann's picture

UK does not need cheap NHS labour. It simply needs to attract UK nurses back with better deals and flexibility. There are loads of NHS nurses working outside NHS and lots of doctors retiring early to work as locums. There is no shortage of medical staff - you don't find Germany full of foreign doctors and nurses and UK doctors are the highest paid in Europe

Sirius Wonderblast's picture

Where the Sam Hill did you get that idea from? There was formerly a simple concept of nationality, and living in one's own country. If you wanted to move, there were some reasonably straight forward steps in the "free" world to achieve that, and this was one of the distinctions between free and not free. Now freedom of movement is held up as a panacea by those who seek to benefit from it, and has been very effectivley made a sacred cow, but is very visibly hollowing-out the countries from which people depart and creating cultural and employment tension and jealousies in the arrival countries. I will accept that this has been greatly worsened by the additional wholesale import of non-EU nationals.

Ghordius's picture

so should people be free to leave their country, inconditionally, or... not?

Sirius Wonderblast's picture

To leave maybe, not necessarily to arrive. To impose yourself on others is not acceptable and never has been. Do you walk into your neighbours property and build a house in their garden, or occupy their spare room, without a by-your-leave? No. Why then should it be okay in droves, as migration? Why, even more so, should a few people with influence (Sors/MIC) be able to create such conditions that people want to leave the lands of their birth in such numbers, whether within or without the EU. Further, it is as plain as the nose on your face that once non-EU migrants are in the EU, the absence of borders or border controls enables them to slosh around to whatever end, good or nefarious, unchecked. We have seen the results of that. I am for freedom, and against big government. You must surely see that this big government cycle, and the abuse of it, has led to the islamic influx and all the troubles that attend it? All that over and above the fatal flaws of the EU even absent that factor. Be done with the hell-ridden abomination.

Sandmann's picture

Of course, Americans like Germans should not be taxed on worldwide income. UK nationals should not be liable for death duties on worldwide assets. Germans should be allowed to have foreign bank accounts

OverTheHedge's picture

As someone living in a country suffering from the sharp end of EU "Freedoms", it is obvious that the young, enthusiastic and mobile will all leave to work in (where else) Germany, because the EU has made sure that there can be no future in Greece. Cut GDP by 25%, and strangely, there are fewer job opportunities than you might otherwise expect.

One could almost think that it was done intentionally to get a huge number of highly educated, suddenly impoverished young people to move north to act as a wave of cheap, skilled labour. All part of keeping German productivity competitive, for their exporter elites. Crap for the average German worker, and appalling for the Greek, Spanish, Portuguese etc, etc, youth, but who cares if you're making profits. Freedom to move is one thing; being forced to move is slightly different. Not so long ago Ghordius got upset when I suggested that EU policy looked a lot like economic warfare - from this angle, it still looks that way to me.

It is getting harder and harder to find anything left to polish on the EU structure - not much shine left, just tarnish and verdigris. May be time to melt it down and reforge something useful instead.

Ghordius's picture

I see young people being either free to exploit the systems available for their own individual purposes... or not free to do so
do young, well educated young Greeks owe the Greek Nation to stay?
the Nation State, as the Nation itself, is a... club. a family of sorts. but it excludes... "We" from "The Others". so it is either at peace or at war with all the rest, all the others. and when at peace... it is in a competition of sorts

nation states competing in how to attract young educated people? foreign shores beckoning for emigrants? so? isn't the Greek Diaspora a complex thing stretching back 1'000 years? Australia's Greeks? in the US?

nation states differ in... management, yes. now, show me someone defending the Greek gov's spending spree pre-crisis of 2007?

those young Greeks deserved better then a gov that sunk the ship of state, yes

Jubal Early's picture

"the Nation itself, is a... club. a family of sorts. but it excludes... "We" from "The Others". so it is either at peace or at war with all the rest, all the others."

That encapsulates the attitude of the Jew to the Nations and peoples of Europe.  The Jew could never hope to rule all of Europe, let alone the majority of it, as long as they were excluded for being "other".  So they decided to destroy the European "We" be destroying that which makes Europe what it is.  2 world wars, the EU, the Euro and they still aren't finished yet.

Schengen was the trojan horse, because it is what has allowed the muslim invastion of all of Europe.  This is the final nail in the Euro coffin.  It was all planned by marxists like Ghordius decades ago.  And they are proud of it.  Don't struggle goyim, you'll only make it worse.

OverTheHedge's picture

So that gives us the right, and in fact positively encourages us to utterly destroy an economy, secure in the knowledge that the losers can just up sticks and bugger off to the winning state, where they will be treated as immigrant slaves.

Your world-view is outstanding. You must be very proud.

Excuse me if I find your approach nothing but contemptible.

Ghordius's picture

a man was sick, then he engaged in various dangerous activities which made him even worse hurt, and now he is being treated

that's the story, for me

the Greek economy and in particular the Greek state was sick well before the EU started

then, lots of scams and in particular completely unsustainable state excess spending was done, stuff for which warnings were not heeded, and everybody knew it was dangerous. when you are having a 13.5% budget deficity per year every year... hey, are you at war, or something?

yes, OverTheHedge, the economy of Greece was hurt by the Greek State, in decisions made by the Greek Government, more then anything else. Nobody forced the Greek government to adopt a "budgets don't matter" policy

now, the bitching is going on since years about how good or bad is the treatment of those problems. the usual debt restructuring thing that inflames the mood. perhaps you should explore more that part

"So that gives us the right, and in fact positively encourages us to utterly destroy an economy, secure in the knowledge that the losers can just up sticks and bugger off to the winning state, where they will be treated as immigrant slaves."

how is that fair? do I stand here for the treatment of young Greeks as "immigrant slaves"? where my point is that they ought to retain the freedom to leave their country if the want? yes, the very Freedom of "Voting with your feet" that makes the difference between a serf and a free man

seriously, that's the whole thing about serfdom: a serf is not allowed to leave his allotted economic region. usually, it was a village

Sandmann's picture

German economy was on the skids when it joined the Euro. Sclerotic with high costs and inflexible labour practices, excessively high government employment, over-regulation. Nothing has changed and Germany now carries €900 bn in Self-Funded Export Liabilities TARGET2, massive infrastructure repair backlog, low grade education with free universities for Chinese students and fee-paying kindergartens for Germans.

Germany is a basket case not much better than Greece other than having a huge deficit-inducing trade surplus impoverishing everyone. UK wants to wipe out 25% German trade surplus and 20% German car exports bvy leaving EU. If other countries imposed tariffs Germany could restore balance

fleur de lis's picture

The Greeks were ruled by the Turks for centuries and consequently forgot how to rule themselves.

When they gained independence they fought among themselves and a civil war killed combatants and civilians alike all over Greece.

It was a Greek tragedy in itself that the birthplace of democracy gained its freedom and was lured by the Marxist sirens into disaster.

They worst thing the Greeks could have done was to join the EU and relinquish the world's oldest currency -- the drachma -- for the Euro scam.

 They are so stuck.

Sandmann's picture

Ghordius I don't know where you live but if you see the dying towns acoss Central Europe you can see why Estonia etc have no young manpower and import US Marines. You see dying hamlets across Germany with decrepit buildings. You see lack of doctors and shops. Ghost towns are a real headache to police. Salafists are hiding out in remote hamlets in GDR

Sandmann's picture

Big signs across Autobahn bridges in Czechia  ""

Jubal Early's picture

The writer doesn't even start to get it.  The Euro was created to be the shackles to chain all of Europe together so it could be completely and terminally exploited by the money changers.  Without the (((Goldman Sachs))) derivative shenanigans very few EU countries could have made it into the Euro and it never would have gotten off of the ground.  As an international banker, the writer was all in for the big multimillion salary and bonuses that flowed to him for playing the money-lenders ponzi games.

Now he laments the lost soul of Europe, sold out to satan and israel by the his crony elites, but of course he cannot name who it was sold to.  They never do.

Ghordius's picture

right. everybody knows that's the USD's role to shackle everything for the greater glory of bankers? is that the gist?

yes, we could unwind the monetary alliance called EUR. would that stop the US and China to struggle with each other in monetary matters? would that stop the flow... of gold, for example?

Jubal Early's picture

What is your point here?  That because of the dollar most of Europe should be thankful for the slavery of the Euro?  If there were no Euro it is quite likely that the hegemony of the dollar never would have happened to the degree it has, in 2008 it was the European Banks that needed the $22trillion secret bailout by the fed.  GS created the Euro singlehandedly by helping all the central banks cheat to get in.

Besides, have you considered who you are agueing with?  Do you think I support the yankee greenback ponzi scheme and what it has done to the european immigrants to America?  The Euro was simply adding insult to injury because the damage that money lenders had already done to the US and the world was clear for all to see at the time the Euro was started.  It is now patently clear that all they wanted was a bigger piece of the money-lender fraud pie, no one cared that putting the power to create money in the hands of a bunch of Christian hating cabalists was going to be irreversable and cause irreparable harm.

Ghordius's picture

"the hegemony of the dollar never would have happened to the degree it has... "

that thing is measurable, Jubal. in dollars... outside the US

now, question: do you know about the numbers involved? that thing is growing ever since, from 1946 to 1971 and subsequent big spurts of growth, just recently right after the last crisis

numbers, Jubal. look them up

fleur de lis's picture

Have you ever heard of Richard von Coudenhove Kalergi?

It was his idea that formed the basis of the EU.

He lived through WW1 and thought that eliminating the differences among various European nations would bring peace.

Coudenhove-Kalergi probably had good intentions, but his idea was spotted by the Warburgs, and their intentions were very bad indeed.

The Warburgs spotted the advantages in a unified Europe and pushed for it from the start.

So Europe is now in a mess thanks to the central bankers who bring nothing but bloodshed.

It's the only way they know how to make money, and they don't care who gets killed or what gets destroyed in the process.