The luminaries who dreamt up the Treaty of Rome, the famous tablet of stone which enshrines the objectives of European solidarity, were not any of them businessmen. Nor were they remotely connected, if at all, with the sordid worlds of manufacturing, transportation, money changers and so forth.
Paul-Henri Spaak of Belgium wanted to give his countrymen something to believe in, since they basically detested their own artificial homeland.
But as we have seen the founders were supranationalist bureaucrats, not capitalists and even less were they free traders. They were foremost tidy minded central planners with a love of passionless rigidity.
The new German (or actually Prussian) state was the end result of the glacier-like amalgamation of city states and petty feudal fiefdoms that occupied the previous hundred years. Some internal trade barriers persisted up until WWI. External tariffs, as everywhere in Europe, were as thick as the German forests.
This plague really has nothing whatsoever to do with free markets but instead everything to do with facilitating a bureaucrat take-over of all activities and choices in an individual’s daily life.
It was not long before the treaty of Schengen (1985) witnessed the abolition of passport controls between the majority of the member states. Mrs. Thatcher may have been keen on the freedom of goods, but not when it came to people. So the Brits are still stuck with their passports. This is an entirely false proposition on a number of grounds.
This has swallowed all of the available countries which are really significant in monetary (meaning market) terms. These are France, Italy and the Benelux grouping. The UK, so far at any rate, is not available, but I am one of those who believe that the Bank of England’s days are firmly numbered.
The regulation of banking and financial markets will move to one central spigot, as part of the long process of centralization which began in the immediate post war years.
Most Europeans are already using the Euro, so why should they care one way or another? The answer is that the Euro is only grudgingly accepted in important countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Austria, and Finland. It is not tender in the UK, Denmark, Sweden or the former bloc states which are now members (colonies) of the EU, except for Estonia (and Slovenia, in the old Yugoslav union smashed by NATO).
The grossly inflated and over-heated rhetoric about the implosion of the Euro has already allowed the Bilderbergers and the Trilateralists to take over Italy and Greece. But for the contrived crisis, Premier Silvio Berlusconi was in no immediate danger.
My money is on the aristocratic Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, the former boss of the employers’ federation and the Fiat auto firm. He is also a junior member of the old royal House of Savoy, to boot.
But there is one more important factor concerning the status of Germany.
The same sort of anxiety that threw up the Baader-Meinhof Gang is now directed at Germany’s sprawling and corrupt banks. Time, in that sense, is short.
“The challenge of our generation is to finish what we started in Europe, and that is to bring about, step by step, a political union,” Merkel told the party congress in the East German city of Leipzig. “Europe is in one of its toughest, perhaps the toughest hour since World War Two,” she said.