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Important Article links roundup (YTD)

  • With idealism lost, has the euro become Europe’s purgatory? Eoin Drea, The Irish Times, 29 April 2020 https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/with-idealism-lost-has-the-euro-become-europe-s-purgatory-1.4240168 This was written by Mr Eoin Drea, whom the paper informs us “is a researcher at the Wilfried Martins Centre, the official think tank of the European People’s Party, which includes Fine Gael”. This article is an implicit criticism of the folly of the Euro-currency
    project, which is all the  more surprising coming from such a source. My first thought on reading it was to ask how did such an article get by the editorial censors  at the “Irish Times”. These normally
    suppress all hints of EU-criticism. Did nobody think of asking Fine Gael about it? A second thought was that maybe glimpes of reality are at last starting to break through the fog of europhilia that normally hangs over Tara Street. A third was that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael have stated that a key
    policy objective of the next Government is that we must stay “at the heart of Europe”. But if being at the heart of Europe amounts to Purgatory today, would not going closer in, as these big parties clearly want to do, amount to entering Hell tomorrow? Not to mind the political wickedness of Dublin politicians adding new dimensions to Partition, now that the North is leaving the EU along with the rest of the UK. Mr Drea quotes former EU Commission President Romano Prodi as saying: “The success of the euro tells us that there is a demand for a strong and united Europe.”  He   writes:” Prodi’s comments also highlighted the political origins of the single currency. Its economic rationale was always debatable.” My own favourite Prodi quote is another remark that he made at the time of the euro’s launch: “The two pillars of the Nation State are the sword and the currency, and we have changed that.” A key point that people need to grasp about currencies is this: If a country has its own currency it can never go bankrupt or be insolvent, for it can always print as much money as it needs and pay its debts in its national currency, which is the only legal tender that its citizens can use. If a country uses a foreign currency, however, which is what we effectively do as users of the euro,  it must pay its debts and finance its deficits in that foreign currency, and its foreign lenders can always pull the plug on it. That is why all independent States have their own currencies, and
    there are over 150 national currencies in the world. Having abolished its national currency to join the Eurozone, Ireland is now of course no longer independent; despite many who must know better pretending that the State has kept its sovereignty. [AC]
  • Who will salute Trump’s man in Berlin? The President finally picks the right man for a job — yet Washington won’t have it, Marshall Auerback & James Carden, Unherd, 12 August 2020 https://unherd.com/2020/08/how-trumps-new-hire-subverts-the-status-quo/ “Marshall Auerback is a market commentator and a research associate for the
    Levy Institute at Bard College. James Carden is a contributing writer for foreign affairs at The Nation. He served as a policy adviser to the Special Representative for Intergovernmental Affairs and the Office of Russia Affairs at the US State Department.”

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