Nytt

Den greske gjeldskrisen avslører strukturelle svakheter med EU-modellen. Man har innført en felles valuta uten å ha institusjonene som skal til for å forsvare den. Hver beslutning må ha tilslutning fra alle medlemsland. Det gjør at man kommer håpløst på etterskudd.

Den nye pakken på 880 milliarder kroner til Hellas som EU og Pengefondet har stilt til disposisjon er endelig på plass. Men det har tatt så lang tid at krisen nå har spredt seg til Portugal og Spania. Markedene ser at EU ikke er på høyde med utviklingen og tror det skal bli verre før det blir bedre.

Den greske krisen demonstrerer svakheten med eurosonen: man mangler politiske institusjoner som kan bakke opp valutaen. Man har ikke handlekraft, og den økonomiske politikken er forskjellig fra land til land. Det gir en dobbelt negativ effekt.

Steven Erlanger skriver en glimrende analyse i NYTimes. Avstanden til Europa gir klarsyn.

Situasjonen for EU er alvorlig. Det kan gå helt galt.

Europe’s consistent inability to move quickly enough to get ahead of the financial markets during the Greece crisis is shaking the euro and the foundations of the European Union itself, as critics of the euro have long predicted would happen.

The question being raised with increasing urgency is whether the European Union can fashion a mechanism to speed decision-making before irreversible damage is done and the euro itself slips into history.

The delays are inevitable, most experts say, stemming from the nature of the European Union and its own institutional voids: no single government, no single treasury, no effective fiscal coordination, no mechanism for crisis management.

Every major decision on the euro must be negotiated among member states and European institutions, a torturous process that also plays up political fissures both within and among member countries. That breeds uncertainty and even panic among investors, who already doubt that the Greek deal that the European leaders finally sealed on Friday night will forestall an eventual restructuring of Athens’ crippling debt.

«The European Union is running behind events,» said Anne-Marie Le Gloannec, a political scientist at the Institut d’Études Politiques in Paris. While, for example, the United States could «shock and awe» the markets early in the global financial crisis with the TARP bailout money and a huge stimulus program to restart the economy, there is no single European institution that can do the same. By contrast, every decision about Greece has been a painful, time-consuming bargain among the different national governments, with their own political requirements and concerns, and their own views of economic virtue.

Men i stedet for å rette blikket innover og forstå markedets dynamikk, kritiserer europeiske politikere investorer, ratingbyråer og «spekulanter». Det er ufruktbart.

Pakken som ble vedtatt fredag er av markedet dømt som utilstrekkelig. Den kommer for sent. Det engelske uttrykket er snudd på hodet, ikke «too little too late», men «too late». Det som ville beroliget markedet for noen måneder siden gjør det ikke i dag. Derfor vil krisen fortsette og spre seg.

Og nå har man ikke flere kuler i magasinet!

«There are no more bullets in the gun right now,» said a senior French official who spoke on the condition of anonymity before the Brussels summit meeting on Friday that confirmed the $140 billion relief package for Greece. The deal was reached over a period of months with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. «Markets are reacting now because they think it’s too little, too late,» Ms. Le Gloannec said. «And because it’s too late, it’s too little.»

Hvis euroen skulle fungert måtte det vært en økonomisk solidaritet mellom landene. Men det har det vist seg ikke å være. Tyskerne vil ikke betale for utviklingen av Italia og de andre Middelhavslandene. De betaler gjerne for utviklingen av det tidligere DDR, men solidariteten stanser ved grensene.

Hvis man skulle stanset den greske blødningen burde man stilt opp med restrukturering av gjelden, dvs. sanering. Det sier flere europeiske politikere klart nei til. Hellas får betale for seg. Denne mangel på europeisk solidaritet koblet til manglende institusjoner er helt ødeleggende.

The European Central Bank, too, has been largely inadequate to the task. On Thursday, the head of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, failed to calm the markets with his assurances that Greece would not default and that the bank was not considering buying up Greek, Portuguese or Spanish bonds, which many analysts consider an obvious next step.

Investors dismissed Mr. Trichet’s words as insufficient, saying that politicians were in denial. They say that governments have no credible exit strategy, that Greek debts will need to be restructured and that the budget rules that are supposed to limit member nations’ budget deficits to 3 percent of gross domestic product have been used as a floor, rather than a ceiling.

Man har valgt et system som er inkompatibelt: hvis den økonomiske politikken skulle vært fortsatt nasjonal, forutsatte det en høy grad av altruisme, dvs. solidarisk opptreden. En slik finnes ikke. Derfor sprenges euroen innenfra.

European leaders have talked of a European Ratings Agency and a European Monetary Fund, at least for the future, and are slowly moving to trim budget deficits. But the problem is more fundamental, said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Center for European Reform in London. «Most of the time, the gap between European rhetoric and reality is just an annoyance,» he said. «But that gap is simply lethal when it comes to the euro.»

Instead of attacking markets and forming a new European agency, he said, «the leaders need to focus on the issue that is driving the markets: the dire growth prospects for the southern rim» of the euro zone, meaning Greece, Portugal, Spain and even Italy. No matter how big the loan package, «the only way to ensure debt sustainability is to get them growing,» he said, and that means significant structural changes to the euro zone.

The southern countries are so uncompetitive compared with the others, especially Germany, that there are permanent trade imbalances that will destroy the euro, Mr. Tilford said, unless European leaders either fix the imbalances or accept more political and fiscal integration. «But the course we’re on is unsustainable,» he said, and Germany seems uninterested in changing its economic model to benefit the poorer south.

While individual countries will bear continual transfers of funds to poorer areas within the nation — to eastern Germany, for example, or to Corsica or Wales — «I don’t see the necessary social solidarity in the wider euro zone to provide this kind of fiscal supranationalism,» Mr. Tilford said. «The myth of European integration and solidarity has been exposed as wishful thinking.»

Søndag er det 60 år siden kull- og stålunionen ble grunnlagt, den som er grunnlaget for dagens EU. Men på disse årene har man ikke en gang maktet å lage en felles energi-politikk. Det er tankevekkende.

Sunday is the 60th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, the proposal by France’s foreign minister, Robert Schuman, to create a supranational organization of states in war-ravaged Europe. It is now celebrated as Europe Day, and while it led first to a French and German trade zone on coal and steel, the European Union still lacks a common energy policy. And while that early pact led to the free-trade zone known as the European Economic Community, the European Union still lacks serious economic cohesion.

«Sixty years later, where is Europe?» Ms. Le Gloannec asked. «A lot has been built, but a lot has been taken for granted. Europe is living out of old policies and sleeping on its laurels. There is no love lost for Europe, but there is also no way out.»

Det er den europeiske syken: å leve på gammel storhet, å tro at alt vil vare evig. Samtidig lider man av en viss letargi. Man orker ikke omstilling, er trett og begynner i stedet å legge skylden på andre.

Greek Debt Crisis Raises Doubts About the European Union

Nytt

Den greske gjeldskrisen avslører strukturelle svakheter med EU-modellen. Man har innført en felles valuta uten å ha institusjonene som skal til for å forsvare den. Hver beslutning må ha tilslutning fra alle medlemsland. Det gjør at man kommer håpløst på etterskudd.

Den nye pakken på 880 milliarder kroner til Hellas som EU og Pengefondet har stilt til disposisjon er endelig på plass. Men det har tatt så lang tid at krisen nå har spredt seg til Portugal og Spania. Markedene ser at EU ikke er på høyde med utviklingen og tror det skal bli verre før det blir bedre.

Den greske krisen demonstrerer svakheten med eurosonen: man mangler politiske institusjoner som kan bakke opp valutaen. Man har ikke handlekraft, og den økonomiske politikken er forskjellig fra land til land. Det gir en dobbelt negativ effekt.

Steven Erlanger skriver en glimrende analyse i NYTimes. Avstanden til Europa gir klarsyn.

Situasjonen for EU er alvorlig. Det kan gå helt galt.

Europe’s consistent inability to move quickly enough to get ahead of the financial markets during the Greece crisis is shaking the euro and the foundations of the European Union itself, as critics of the euro have long predicted would happen.

The question being raised with increasing urgency is whether the European Union can fashion a mechanism to speed decision-making before irreversible damage is done and the euro itself slips into history.

The delays are inevitable, most experts say, stemming from the nature of the European Union and its own institutional voids: no single government, no single treasury, no effective fiscal coordination, no mechanism for crisis management.

Every major decision on the euro must be negotiated among member states and European institutions, a torturous process that also plays up political fissures both within and among member countries. That breeds uncertainty and even panic among investors, who already doubt that the Greek deal that the European leaders finally sealed on Friday night will forestall an eventual restructuring of Athens’ crippling debt.

«The European Union is running behind events,» said Anne-Marie Le Gloannec, a political scientist at the Institut d’Études Politiques in Paris. While, for example, the United States could «shock and awe» the markets early in the global financial crisis with the TARP bailout money and a huge stimulus program to restart the economy, there is no single European institution that can do the same. By contrast, every decision about Greece has been a painful, time-consuming bargain among the different national governments, with their own political requirements and concerns, and their own views of economic virtue.

Men i stedet for å rette blikket innover og forstå markedets dynamikk, kritiserer europeiske politikere investorer, ratingbyråer og «spekulanter». Det er ufruktbart.

Pakken som ble vedtatt fredag er av markedet dømt som utilstrekkelig. Den kommer for sent. Det engelske uttrykket er snudd på hodet, ikke «too little too late», men «too late». Det som ville beroliget markedet for noen måneder siden gjør det ikke i dag. Derfor vil krisen fortsette og spre seg.

Og nå har man ikke flere kuler i magasinet!

«There are no more bullets in the gun right now,» said a senior French official who spoke on the condition of anonymity before the Brussels summit meeting on Friday that confirmed the $140 billion relief package for Greece. The deal was reached over a period of months with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. «Markets are reacting now because they think it’s too little, too late,» Ms. Le Gloannec said. «And because it’s too late, it’s too little.»

Hvis euroen skulle fungert måtte det vært en økonomisk solidaritet mellom landene. Men det har det vist seg ikke å være. Tyskerne vil ikke betale for utviklingen av Italia og de andre Middelhavslandene. De betaler gjerne for utviklingen av det tidligere DDR, men solidariteten stanser ved grensene.

Hvis man skulle stanset den greske blødningen burde man stilt opp med restrukturering av gjelden, dvs. sanering. Det sier flere europeiske politikere klart nei til. Hellas får betale for seg. Denne mangel på europeisk solidaritet koblet til manglende institusjoner er helt ødeleggende.

The European Central Bank, too, has been largely inadequate to the task. On Thursday, the head of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, failed to calm the markets with his assurances that Greece would not default and that the bank was not considering buying up Greek, Portuguese or Spanish bonds, which many analysts consider an obvious next step.

Investors dismissed Mr. Trichet’s words as insufficient, saying that politicians were in denial. They say that governments have no credible exit strategy, that Greek debts will need to be restructured and that the budget rules that are supposed to limit member nations’ budget deficits to 3 percent of gross domestic product have been used as a floor, rather than a ceiling.

Man har valgt et system som er inkompatibelt: hvis den økonomiske politikken skulle vært fortsatt nasjonal, forutsatte det en høy grad av altruisme, dvs. solidarisk opptreden. En slik finnes ikke. Derfor sprenges euroen innenfra.

European leaders have talked of a European Ratings Agency and a European Monetary Fund, at least for the future, and are slowly moving to trim budget deficits. But the problem is more fundamental, said Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Center for European Reform in London. «Most of the time, the gap between European rhetoric and reality is just an annoyance,» he said. «But that gap is simply lethal when it comes to the euro.»

Instead of attacking markets and forming a new European agency, he said, «the leaders need to focus on the issue that is driving the markets: the dire growth prospects for the southern rim» of the euro zone, meaning Greece, Portugal, Spain and even Italy. No matter how big the loan package, «the only way to ensure debt sustainability is to get them growing,» he said, and that means significant structural changes to the euro zone.

The southern countries are so uncompetitive compared with the others, especially Germany, that there are permanent trade imbalances that will destroy the euro, Mr. Tilford said, unless European leaders either fix the imbalances or accept more political and fiscal integration. «But the course we’re on is unsustainable,» he said, and Germany seems uninterested in changing its economic model to benefit the poorer south.

While individual countries will bear continual transfers of funds to poorer areas within the nation — to eastern Germany, for example, or to Corsica or Wales — «I don’t see the necessary social solidarity in the wider euro zone to provide this kind of fiscal supranationalism,» Mr. Tilford said. «The myth of European integration and solidarity has been exposed as wishful thinking.»

Søndag er det 60 år siden kull- og stålunionen ble grunnlagt, den som er grunnlaget for dagens EU. Men på disse årene har man ikke en gang maktet å lage en felles energi-politikk. Det er tankevekkende.

Sunday is the 60th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, the proposal by France’s foreign minister, Robert Schuman, to create a supranational organization of states in war-ravaged Europe. It is now celebrated as Europe Day, and while it led first to a French and German trade zone on coal and steel, the European Union still lacks a common energy policy. And while that early pact led to the free-trade zone known as the European Economic Community, the European Union still lacks serious economic cohesion.

«Sixty years later, where is Europe?» Ms. Le Gloannec asked. «A lot has been built, but a lot has been taken for granted. Europe is living out of old policies and sleeping on its laurels. There is no love lost for Europe, but there is also no way out.»

Det er den europeiske syken: å leve på gammel storhet, å tro at alt vil vare evig. Samtidig lider man av en viss letargi. Man orker ikke omstilling, er trett og begynner i stedet å legge skylden på andre.

Greek Debt Crisis Raises Doubts About the European Union