Tuesday, August 16, 2011

'Anchoring Debt Brakes' - just think about it!

The Irish Times, linked here, makes a stab of making sense in English of what Sarkozy and Merkel were apparently proposing at their Paris press conference earlier this evening. These two small paragraphs caught my eye and imagination:

"She (Merkel) said Germany and France have agreed to anchor so-called debt brakes in their countries' constitutions and want other euro region governments to do the same.

"Germany and France have agreed and propose to anchor such a debt rule in the constitutions" of other euro countries and signal that deficit-reduction does not depend on changing political majorities, she said.

As an ex-mariner, I know something about anchors, dragging anchors, raising anchors before an approaching storm, avoiding anchoring on a lee shore or on bad holding ground and certainly not on shifting sands. Anchors are not brakes, used as such they would be lossed, friction on the hull  and the resistance of the ocean are the only thing that will eventually bring a mammoth tanker to a halt! So with this wholly mistaken EMU!

Having watched Germany and France drive a coach and horses through the original EU Growth and Stability pact, I also know something about Franco/German solidarity and supposed restraints on deficits and the non-payment of in-built penalties when such provisions are broken!

Refresh your own memories from the archives of my blog Ironies for the months in late 2003 and early 2004, one linked here.  One such post:


Franco/German Bullying Gathers Pace

While the entire front page of this morning's Financial Times is taken over with the story on the illegalities of the EU Finance Ministers buckling under French and German pressure to break the law and allow the destruction of the Growth and Stability pact, in order that the two ruling axis powers can continue their prohibited excessive deficit spending, evidence arrives of similar bullying tactics elsewhere. As reported last evening on Ironies.

In EUBusiness we read here of Chirac calling Ahern yesterday "assuring him of French support; next thing we find, to no surprise whatever, that PM Ahern has been on the telephone to guess who: the PMs of Poland and Spain and that the former will be visiting Dublin before the end of the month! Read the report from RTE News.

posted by Martin at 1/08/2004 12:13:00 PM


(Post corrected and slightly edited 0815 CET 17/08/11)

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