Published on Current Concerns no. 21, by Dr. Hansjörg Häfele, October 16, 2011.
… Only a consistent stability pact is of help:
Instead of stumbling from one crisis summit to the next and from one rescue package to the other and thus creating a trust-destroying picture of regulatory disorientation, helplessness, talkativeness and short-sightedness – too many cooks spoil the broth which includes the European Central Bank – euro-Europe primarily needs sustainable measures.
The law of the stability pact has to be restored, tightened and enforced with full vigour. Those who do not want to comply must leave the euro system. Naturally, this solution cannot be obtained without any disadvantages and drawbacks. An irresponsible debt policy of many years and a fundamental operation that has been protracted for one and a half years are the cause for the rehabilitation costs which now the people –unfortunately – has to bear.
An Europe of fatherlands:
There are attempts to use this crisis as a basis for the great transfer – admitted or concealed – to a European federal state. This would be a new fatal delusion which at best is still a long way off. Diversity is part of Western Europe – not conformity and centralism. Yet, the existing European apparatus with its non-transparent responsibilities is highly deterring and is ever more drifting away from people. Democracy and people belong together. There is not one, but several European peoples only. Rightfully, the French de Gaulle, with good knowledge of history spoke of the “Europe des patries”, of the “Europe of fatherlands”. As much as the eroding of self-responsibility of citizens in an excessive social welfare state is an alarming aberration, abolishing the financial sovereignty would be an arch evil and a further loss of the peoples’ self-responsibility.
This is to be valid: Each state is responsible for its finances. He, who does not abide by this rule has to arrange matters on his own and at worst has to leave the currency system. He may stay, though, within the EU of 27.
It is quite often that German politicians display an idealist “Europe eagerness”. With all due respect, to consolidate Europe we should behave as normal – like others do. We should take care of our well-understood interests within the European system. From historical experience, we Germans are the advocate of the stability of monetary value for ourselves and for Europe.
A recurrence of the currency break-down and a new inflation would be disastrous and much less social than everything that is being discussed. Nor should we insult those as “populists” who, in cooperation with large parts of the public stand up for our rational interests. The German guiding principle ought to be
- a new stricter stability pact for all euro countries!
- after all these aid packages, the planned permanent rescue package should definitely not be introduced! To establish it would be like a new German constitution which would contradict all promises made with the Maastricht Treaty. Without a respective public referendum, politics would lose all legitimacy and thus intensify the public frustration with Europe.
- To pursue more vigorously our own reduction of debts and stop distributing new allegedly social benefits!
The more European countries are acting according to this guiding principle, the more the euro state crisis would come to something good in the end.
Stop the epochal aberration of debt-making:
After leaving politics in 1990, nothing has worried me more than the abolition of the D-mark and the lapses by the euro states. Influenced by Ludwig Erhard and his reluctance toward all factitious matters like “constructivism”, I acted as public representative for a quarter of a century. During that time, standing on the side of the stability of monetary value, the prevention of debts, and an efficient and investment-friendly tax law, I was finance-political speaker of the CDU/CSU opposition as well as undersecretary with the German Minister of Finance (1982–1989), Dr Stoltenberg. I would be pleased if the miracle happened through strict concentration on solid European states, to achieve a permanent trustworthy European currency. This could help starting a new era worldwide that would abandon the epochal aberration of debt-making. (full long text).