European leaders? Are there any? Or each of them looks only at his/her national electorate?
A make or break moment is approaching where the choice has to be made between more integration among the nations of Europe or a big step back towards nationalism, the cause of so much misery.
What is to be done is clear: turn the Euro in a real sovereign currency, which means capable of being a lender of last resort, plus creating mechanisms for lowering the cost of debt for Euro countries. Weak countries like Italy or Spain cannot stay for long in a currency that cannot be devaluated and at the same time pay high interest rates. An unstoppable spiral will soon take hold. People will hoard cash in Euro and move money out of weak countries, actually triggering the disaster they fear. Individually rational behavior, collective madness. More fiscal integration and discipline is needed, which means that more budget must shift from nations to the Union. This can be done in many ways. It cannot be asked to healthy countries to simply foot the bill! This take courage from national politicians, give and take, negotiations, compromise. The center must get more power from the nations. The problem is that national politicians have been using for too long the european union as the bau-bau: we are good, but we must do this and that because of the EU. In Germany: we are the orderly savers paying for the sun drenched lazy southerners. In Italy: pay pay pay for something that comes from outside. Stop populism, before you cannot control it anymore. Explain the bare truth. Work for the European common good because it will be much better for everyone. Nationalism brings war. The EU was created to avoid war, but we have started to forget how horrible that is, and we now play with fire. We must move towards more United States of Europe, but this requires politicians to give away power…and this requires true leadership.
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