Monday, 18 April 2011

Is the EU starting to Implode?

Its maybe too much to wish for, but the Greater European Project seems to be fraying at the edges at the moment.

Economically, things don't look too good, with a number of poorer countries locked into bailout packages financed by the larger EU partners. The thing is, how long will prudent German savers put up with bailing out poorer EU countries who spent trillions trying to emulate German lifestyles? Will those poorer countries accept the draconian fiscal belt-tightening required as part of the bailout deal?

Currently it seems a very fragile situation, with the people of Greece rebelling against the austerity measures required by the larger European partners.

Borders are also currently a bone of contention at the moment, with Italy testing the patience of its European neighbours by handing thousands of Tunisian immigrants residency permits, which allow them to travel throughout the EU. France has already retaliated by stopping Italian trains at its border and Germany is threatening to reintroduce checks at its border with Italy.

In the days before the expansion of the EU, something would have been done about this because when France and Germany were affected, the rules were changed to suit them. Since the Lisbon treaty, things have changed, with France and Germany no longer having as much say in the running of the EU project.

Maybe Germany and France will throw their toys out of the pram and it'll really start to unravel. But I do have the feeling that these so-called "bailouts" are a way of buying influence around the EU, attempting to subvert the processes that give member states an equal say in the running of the EU and thereby regaining the dominance of Germany and France.

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