The European Union has had a tough run lately. From the Greek debt crisis debacle, to Brexit, Italy voting down a referendum supported by a pro-EU PM, and the migrant crisis, the EU has never been in more trouble.
Now, even a top European politician is acknowledging the possibility the EU could collapse and fall apart.
In an interview, German Finance Minister & Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel discussed his concerns about austerity and the possible break-up of the EU and the election of pro-independence leaders.
“I once asked the chancellor, what would be more costly for Germany: for France to be allowed to have half a percentage point more deficit, or for Marine Le Pen to become president?”
Gabriel went even further when asked whether German citizens would be willing to pay more to keep the EU together.
Gabriel said he knows it’s controversial, “But I also know about the state of the EU. It is no longer unthinkable that it breaks apart.”
Gabriel added, “Should that happen, our children and grandchildren would curse us. Because Germany is the biggest beneficiary of the European community – economically and politically.”
Gabriel is right that the EU could break up, but he is wrong that it would be a necessarily be a bad thing.
The EU is overly centralized, and overly bureaucratic, disconnecting decisions from those who are affected by them.
Also, the common currency has been a disaster, a disaster which disproportionately benefits Germany – probably the real reason Gabriel wants to keep the EU.
The common currency lets German labour costs stay low, while depriving a country like Greece of the chance to have a cheaper currency – and thus a bigger manufacturing and tourist sector.
The EU was based on a great idea, but in a world that is becoming more complex and requires more decentralization, the EU is simply too rigid to adapt.
Independence from the EU and the right to chart their own course is a better path forward than holding on to a severely flawed and failing institution.
Photo – Twitter