Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Roses and Young Girls

The European Central Bank, under Mario Draghi, is  looking  like the Italian Constitution under  Giorgio Napolitano - malleable.  Germany swapped the Deutschmark for the euro in return for German reunification and the setting-up of a European central bank modelled on the Bundesbank; indeed the ECB was to be the Bundesbank writ large.  What was not to like in the founding pillar of the West German state becoming the founding pillar of a united Germany, and of the European Union as a whole? 

No, the Germans said,  the ECB would not be answerable to Ecofin.   "the single currency, under the authority of the Central Bank would complete monetary union, while economic union would merely consist of national policies, coordinated by the Council of Economic and Finance Ministers. "   The Delors Report would not be implemented. 

Well, it's looking as if the Italians are going to have a sly try.  Not the whole thing, of course, out of the question.  But this 'austerity is not enough, Europe needs fiscal measures and debt-sharing and common economic policies and  growth, and so say all of us except you Germans and your selfish northern goody-goodies'  mantra is  accompanied by the ECB's Mario Draghi pushing the mandate of the ECB as out of shape as his country's poor Constitution.  European Central Bank independence is becoming a double-edged sword.  Germany et al.,  needs to assert not just independence but the religious observance by the ECB of its mandate under the treaties; which brings us to Charles de Gaulle's  assessment of treaties - they last while they last.

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