[In addition to being a Grammy nominated record producer, jazz buff and popular L.A. radio host, our friend Alan Geik, whose thought have been featured here before, holds a masters degree from the London School of Economics and has taught economics in London colleges. In the essay below, he explains why the European Union and its central bank will survive the current crisis even if some members are forced to withdraw. The ship will not be allowed to sink, says Alan, simply because there are too many bureaucrats dependent on the EU for cushy jobs and fat pensions. They will do whatever it takes to hold onto their sinecures, our guest columnist assertsm ensuring that the EU itself will endure. RA]
The countless extra-territorial entities created since the introduction of the euro are now totally reliant on the common currency’s continued existence. Whenever huge budgets are put on the table and there is little regulation or oversight, there is the inevitable rise of aggressive bureaucracies whose aim is to insure a long stay at the funding trough. So it is in Euroland. This may bring to mind another international agency, the United Nations. However the United Nations, surely one more maze of national and self-interest, pales in relation to the euro-stoked organizations. This is quite remarkable given that the UN has had more than a fifty-year head start perfecting bureaucracy-building; but more about that later.
The public face of the Euro Crisis is the entrenched technocrats and foreign ministers hurriedly convening meetings, summits, press conferences and private discussions throughout European capitals. They often imply a high-minded reason for the survival of the euro: a movement toward a unified Europe, a Europe free of boundaries and discord that marked the past several hundred years. However, their more immediate need is to insure a constant inflow of the currency in order to accommodate their ever-increasing budgets. These Euro Players can, at any moment, quickly reverse course in response to each political crisis or pushbacks by one national parliament or the other. However their unified goal has always been to “keep the euro alive…at all costs,” an expression used more emphatically recently after still more midnight meetings end with no far reaching plan.
Who are these spokespeople? Where did they come from? Who gave them so much authority? Why are they so determined to keep alive a currency barely twelve years old –“at all costs?” Nigel Farage, a British member of the European Parliament, takes great joy directing these questions to two of the more colorless dolts in this enduring Euro Drama: Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission; and Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council. For those of you who, like myself, delight in someone asking a highly paid bureaucrat “Who exactly are you? Can you tell us what is it that you do?” here is a brief video clip of Mr. Farage addressing these two men. It is an amusingly (to me, anyway) theatrical performance, even if in front of an empty European Parliament. Barroso and Rumpoy’s silence varies from surly contempt to amused smugness. Regardless, they seem to be thinking, “I hustled my way into this job and I’m not going anywhere soon — and what I do is to make sure that I can keep doing whatever it is I do.” Farage has been censured for his personal attacks by the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek — a toothless action, but these Sleepy Hollow agencies never intend to call attention to themselves.