The indefatigable Mary Ellen Synon shares with us, some observations made by Jean-Claude Juncker, permanent president of the eurogroup and prime minister of Luxembourg. He made these at a meeting organised by the European Movement.
Juncker was, Synon writes, talking about ‘economic governance’, EUrocratese for ‘government’in the euroarea and the EU. He started with the non-sequitur that ‘There are no such things as domestic affairs in a monetary union, the affairs of one are the affairs of all’. Using Greece as an example, we could just as soon state that even if it isn’t, the EUnion will make sure it damn well will become ‘the affair of all’. Remember this?
But then Juncker really gets into his own, and reveals just how scary, little a man he is, and how scary the whole EUnion project really is. As he and his fellow euro-bosses are steering the EU towards centralised economic and fiscal policy, he admits:
‘Monetary policy is a serious issue, this should be discussed in secret.’
He said that by discussing each and every monetary-policy issue in public ‘you are inspiring those who are players in the financial markets.’ Yes, Synon observes, like the people who have to invest our pension funds, for a start.
Juncker doesn’t like giving the markets information:
‘I am for secret, dark debates between a few responsible people.’
Now, a national government can and should be able to discuss monetary, economic and fiscal policy in secret. Certainly there are some ideas that could rock markets if they became known too soon. But when it is a national government acting in private, and they come to the wrong decisions, the national electorate can then throw them and their bad decisions out of office.
But how do we get rid of Juncker and his ilk when they make a mess? Or, make an even larger mess then we already have? The misery of the EUnion is, that we cannot. We have no say, no vote.
Juncker added: ‘I’m ready to be insulted as being insufficiently democratic’. Mrs. Synon notes indignantly the arrogance of the man, that he finds the destruction of democracy amusing. But Juncker should count his blessing that for now he has only to worry about insults. He should start worrying that we can knit. And that we have noticed him.