This is a very good article on Europe. He definitely gets it. It left me wanting more, though. There is the old IMF banking-cartel game hanging over everything, of course, and I suppose he identifies some of the right political villains if not the financial ones. He correctly positions Germany as the fulcrum here, and while I’m not a great fan of Merkel, I wouldn’t quite put her in the same class of awful as Berlusconi, Papandreou, Sarkozy or Rodríguez-Zapatero.
The German economy is the strong one and not only has not had to finance elite debt profligacy with the same degree of taxes and cutting of services to the people as the rest of Europe has, Merkel’s made it clear to Deutschebank that they are responsible for their own shit here. Politically, though, Germany offers the same choice of corporatism or corporatism that every other European country does (just like the USA and Israel), albeit with enough of a coalition threat from the Greens and Die Linke to keep Merkel’s CD slightly better than the rest. So, you see good stuff like the government’s attitude towards Deutsche, the ban on nuclear power, and their demurral on Libya.
Their Israel policy is bad but that’s an historical and cultural thing they are reflexive about. The problem, in a nutshell, is that since there are so few Jews there, there is no PAN-SEMITIC or anti-Zionist Jewish movement to set things straight. So, the post-WWII guilt thing holds as a matter of law and policy without regard to the Diaspora’s objection to Zionism. Plus, the Turkish-Germans are a mixed-bag and at this point consider themselves GERMAN, so even the Muslims are quiet on Palestine.
There are mixed opinions on Germany going forward. The author’s suggestion that the EU isn’t long for this world and countries better start printing and coining the old currencies are probably true. There isn’t a great deal of patience given the economic strength gap between Germany and the rest of Europe to continue to be the “Sheriff Of The EU” and a power Germany as either part of BRIC or as a 3rd force seems to be where things are headed.
The other power neo-liberal country which is wobbling away from the Anglo-EU-USA axis of evil is Chile. It is every bit as conservative poitically and culturally as Germany, but it is too big and economically strong to continue to be a stooge-state despite the racist Chileno-Francés elite. Sebastián Piñera is no angel but like Merkel he sees the realities which is why they wobble towards a Sub-Continental SUCRE asset-backed monetary zone rather than continue to trust a dying USD as a reserve currency. Their Peso does float, but so will their copper-backed SUCRE. The large population of Diasporal Arabs and Jews in Chile give them a more modern take on Palestine to the point of a real old-fashioned conservative like Piñera recognizng a free, independent, self-determined state of Palestine with pre 1967 borders, sovereignty over East Jerusalem and a contiguity-plus geographical solution.
Politically, Chile is a bit like Western Europe and mostly like Germany in the sense of offering two major parties with a choice of corporatism or corporatism, yet with a Bolivarian (JSM-”Juntos Somos Más”) and market-socialist (Frente Allendista) coalition threat strong enough to keep Piñera from being a total bastard. The institutional “Socialist Party” of Frei and Bachelet is just the same neo-liberal “Socialist” parties of Europe, most notably France, Greece and Spain.
South America and the Bolivarian solution of 1998 and forward — using the local fraud statutes to get out from under the IMF, banking-cartel, cronyism and stooge status and allying themselves with BRIC, brings us back to Europe and the very good question I wish the author had addressed of Iceland and their “Nordic Bolivarianism” of Grimsson and Siguraradottir. This seems to have triggered finally some resistance to the IMF in President Mary McAleese of Ireland although she’s a bit too late to the party. Iceland was late, too, but it may be TOO late for Ireland unless Germany lets it all go and the PEOPLE THEMSELVES REALLY TAKE OVER.
If that doesn’t happen, Spain will be the test case come January of the OVERT police-state in Europe, with their civil liberties laws being harmonized as much as possible with those of the USA.