The news comes to us blandly enough. From the NYT: European Leaders Agree to a Permanent Crisis Fund.
Despite deep differences over how to contain their continuing debt crisis, European Union leaders agreed Thursday to create a permanent support fund for the euro after 2013 — something they hope will be a first step to calming the markets.
But behind the blandness of the reporting, there are some shenanigans going on that ought to be reported by a responsible MSM (if we had any): The Lisbon Treaty currently forbids a permanent bail-out pot, because it forbids the EUnion bailing out countries, unless they are struck by an unforeseen disaster. The definition of what exactly constitutes an unforeseen disaster was already bent to breaking point when the measures were taken to rescue Greece and Ireland.
For the bail-out pot to become permanent, a treaty change is needed. If it is not changed the Constitutional Court in Germany (still mulling over the legality of the Turnip with regard to the German constitution) would immediately challenge the new bail-out mechanism, leading to more or prolonged instability and possibly more debt casualties (Spain, Portugal, Belgium) and the contagion that would mean to the more robust member states.
Now, normally a treaty change would mean a fully fledged re-ratification procedure. That would precipitate a referendum on the (new) Turnip in at least the UK, and possibly elsewhere. The resentment in Europe in general and the UK in particular towards the ‘European Project’ is however such, that any referendum would in all likelihood mean the end of Lisbon and the EUnion in its current form.
And rather then bow down to the will of the people, which is what democracy ought to be about, the ‘colleagues’ have come up with a way to avoid the nastiness of consulting EUnion citizens on their views: It was agreed that the creation of the permanent mechanism needed only a ‘minor’ revision of the Turnip, in which case only the commission, the toy parliament and the European Council need to agree to the change. That is why the ‘European Voice’ (which should more aptly be called ‘His Masters Voice’) is confident about the outcome:
The treaty change will be approved at the European Council in March, if the three institutions have given their views by then. The text will then be sent to the 27 member states for ratification. The aim is to complete ratification by 1 January 2013 so that the mechanism can be set up in June that year.
However, the change to the Turnip is a rather big deal. Even the top EUrocrats are saying so. In the by-line in the EV article above, Barosso is quoted as saying:
These are radical changes.
Then again, his vow to do ‘anything necessary to rescue the euro’ would seem to include by-passing those that are growing increasingly disenfranchised by the euro and those that created the ‘The most dreadful currency in history‘.
Setting up a permanent bail-out mechanism creates a permanent source of ‘moral hazard’: Governments and banks will have no longer have to worry about reckless spending and lending, because the EUnion will shoulder the risk. Profits will be private, going to the banks. Losses will be public, paid from the permanent pot. But that pot, currently set at 440 billion, but almost certain to grow, is made up entirely from tax money. Your money. That sizable part of your hard-earned living you have to hand over to your government every month.
This sinister manoeuvring is EUnion democracy in action is made entirely possible and legal (if questionably so), because we are ruled by the
Lisbon Treaty Turnip. The Turnip contains a provision, the ‘passarelle’ or footbridge; Article 48.6 of the Turnip details the possibility of a ‘simplified procedure’ to amend EU treaties (including the Turnip itself). Instead of calling a full blown IGC, this procedure would only need approval of amendments by the European Council. However, since the European Council is to become an official EU institution under the proposed treaty, this essentially means that the EU can amend existing treaties by approving them for themselves, bypassing national governments. Neat, huh?
Various commenters have warned about this feature of the Turnip. But worries about the implications have been waved off by EUrophile as just ‘words on paper‘. They weren’t, they aren’t, and at the time those that shoved the Turnip down our throats (which includes virtually in entire political class in the Netherlands, including our atrocious former PM Jan-Peter Balkenende) knew that to be the case. They lied the Big Lie and we let them get away with it. And as a result we now are ruled, not governed, by the unelected and unaccountable European Commission and European Council. And unfettered by democratic accountability (after all we don’t get to vote the bastards out of office), their ambitions for a single EUnion currency will destroy our wealth and well-being, handing it over to banks and financially irresponsible governments.
It’s not the rescue that gets my blood boiling. Nor is it the fact that through taxes I will have to share a part of the burden (though I don’t like it). It is the arrogant, condescending way in which these unelected, undeserving dish-rags just take my (our) money to do as they please, without even having the f.cking decency to consult us or say ‘thank you’. In the words of Nigel Farage: Who the hell do these people think they are?
In 2003, Czech President Vaclav Klaus wrote that “European monetary unification is the Trojan horse for overall harmonization of economic rules, policies and laws in [the] EU. I am convinced that any euro-zone problem will be in the future interpreted as a consequence of the lack of harmonization. . . and will lead to another wave of a creeping harmonization.”
It turns out Mr. Klaus was correct.