Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Happy 4th of July.  I pray that God blesses the USA more and we as a nation return to the pursuit of a relationship with Him and as a nation we honor Him, recognizing where all of our blessings have come from.  A student of history cannot escape from noting that the USA was a product of so many circumstances that can only be attributed to divine and miraculous intervention.  May Jesus reign in our hearts and minds more today than yesterday.  Enjoy the holiday.

Please read the interview that appeared in Der Spiegel last week with German Finance Minster Wolfgang Schäuble. - EUROCRISIS MEANS EU STRUCTURES MUST CHANGE

As you read, make sure that you note the tone of the Spiegel interview which seems to be quite negative with the suggestion that the Euro was a miscarriage.

Why is the interview important? - After reading the passage you have to be impressed that the Eurocrat leadership seems to be committed and unwavering in their support for the Euro and EU.  Statements like this below help us see that those that want the Euro actually want more integration rather than less and they will not waiver in the commitment to move forward.
 "The world is moving closer together, and we're talking about the possibility of each country in Europe going its own way? This cannot, must not and will not happen!"
Ultimately the end game here is centralization of power in the ECB an manifests itself in a fiscal union, one where nation states give up their individual control of their purses and release autonomy to a group of leaders that know best how to manage finances and can determine the course for the whole of Europe  (yuck!!!).

Further, Schäuble describes how he desires the structure to look like;
"In an optimal scenario, there would be a European finance minister, who would have a veto against national budgets and would have to approve levels of new borrowing. It would be up the individual countries to decide how to spend the approved funds, that is, how to answer the question: "Should we spend more money on families or on road construction?"
Spiegel goes on to point out that citizens of the individual nations would be outraged to give up their discretion over monetary allocations and Germany's finance ministers responds;
"There is certainly the risk that there would be national reactions, and that's why all of this requires intensive discussion. But one thing is also clear: Those who want a strong Europe also have to be willing to surrender decisions to Brussels. But even then parliamentary responsibilities are needed."
Last, let me highlight the give and take that was shared near the end of the interview.  This part is key as the interview points out that the popular notion is that further integration is not the correct path and the periphery states eye further integration as a bad thing (especially since they are on the austerity path).

SPIEGEL: In your euphoria, you overlook the fact that most people in Southern Europe tend to see Brussels as a threat.Schäuble: I'd be careful with statements like that. In the most recent election in Greece, more citizens voted for parties that support the course that was agreed to with Europe than in the first election.
SPIEGEL: Although voter turnout was lower.
Schäuble: That may be. Of course, a lot of people in Europe are worried about the future. But as far as I can see, the vast majority of Germans and people in other countries are pro-European. Aside from relatively small movements, there are no nationalist tendencies.

Schauble flat out lies here by omission.  While it is true that the Greeks essentially elected a government that continues to support the path of the Euro, popular support for an exit from the Euro is actually greater.  So yes, they did elect a government that cows to the ECB, but popular sentiment is of the mind that the EU is now a bad thing. See the following graphic that described the Greek vote that appeared in the Dailymail.
Essentially 45% of the Greeks want to pullout of the bailout ponzi and there is a slim 6% that rides the fence.

SPIEGEL: In Germany, the Federal Constitutional Court has imposed tight restrictions on relinquishing further sovereignty. Given the German constitution, how much more European integration is possible?
Schäuble: If the things that I've just outlined were in fact implemented and we concluded that the limits of the constitution had been reached, the Constitutional Court would be correct in saying: There's no problem with transferring more rights to Brussels, but the German people will have to make that decision.

I'm not so sure that German citizens would be so excited about transferring more rights to Brussels.  Why is it that these guys believe that people desire to give power to bureaucrats that will only take power and siphon off money in the long run?

To wrap this up I was left with the sense that these guys adhere to the notion that a little crisis is good for moving things in the direction you want.  While I think the normal person would believe that these troubles with funding in the poorer nation states would create a movement to slow things down, the opposite it true in that the leaders feel like it is a reason to push harder.

In addition, there is also a feeling as I read his comments that it seems like this is part of the plan, that was set in motion a long time ago.  We simply cannot underestimate the long-term commitment and vision to put a centrally run Europe in place.  The challenge I see here is to begin looking at this group as conquerors.  If you wanted to be dictator or president of a huge slice of the world would you have the notion that you could do it in a year or two (doesn't matter if you did it through violence or by some other means)?  No, in fact, you'd probably lay out a 10 to 20 year plan.  Different cultures and nations would have different time tables.  For example, in the West, we might implement a 10 year plan.  If you were Russian, you might envision a 30 year or 40 year plan.  In China, because they see time and history differently, they might have a 100 year plan.  My guess is that the EU experiment is nothing of the sort, but is a means to achieving what so many want, power and control.  It isn't shocking to see that the leadership won't give up and is committed to going further using failures as an excuse to centralize and consolidate power.  Look for more of this is the future.


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