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Thread: The European Union and the Euro

  1. #1
    International Regular stephen's Avatar
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    The European Union and the Euro

    I have been thinking a bit more about the EU in recent times. It is interesting to me because it is a union of different countries with extremely different cultures, united under the banner of a single currency.

    The Greece bailout really brought home a few questions to me:

    I am someone who believes in national sovereignty over internationalism. However, with a single currency in the EU, the stronger performing economies are effectively dragging along the weaker ones. If the European ideal is to continue successfully, how much domestic law needs to be turned over to the EU?

    The legislation around IR in particular seems awfully strange to me. Why should a country with a high retirement age (like Germany) be bailing out the economies of countries with lower retirement ages (like France or Greece)?

    The purpose of having different currencies is to allow the currency itself act as a natural stabiliser on the economy and the import/export balance. Is the Euro a failed currency in that it obfuscates bad legislation in a sovereign state by tying it into good legislation in another sovereign state?

    Now that we have progressed into the postmodern, post war era, is the EU even a relevant organisation any more?

    As an Australian I am looking at this from an ignorant position and I am generally interested in peoples' thoughts on the EU and the Euro.

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    World Traveller Craig's Avatar
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    I could be very much wrong, but I'm sure Switzerland copes fine without the Euro or being in the EU.
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    Cricketer Of The Year Mr Casson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig View Post
    I could be very much wrong, but I'm sure Switzerland copes fine without the Euro or being in the EU.
    I don't think his point was anything to do with countries outside the EU, it was about the countries inside it.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    If I get a Pommie passport I can work anywhere in the EU, or so I'm told by the High Commission staff here.

    That's bloody brilliant, frankly. I'm all for the EU..
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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    The philosophy of the common currency zone is, in very simple terms (because that's all I can recall of what I once knew about it), twofold.

    A) Taking monetary policy out of the hands of those who had proven themselves incompetent to administer it, and placing it in the hands of stern, but now friendly, Germans who know what they're doing, and in the process providing a currency that is otherwise less susceptible to day to day fluctuations.

    B) A politically aimed, rather than economic, initiative designed to bring about a closer union among the member states.

    The move to a common union in the EU is a weird one, born of good aspirations, naked greed, and tempered by the remnants of national chauvanism. They have a common currency, unregulated movement of people and goods within its boundaries, but divergent taxation, welfare, and IR regulations. It's a frankly unsustainable model, with further change being inevitable, as evidenced by the brain drain of talent from high-taxation economies to relatively lower taxation ones, people hopping borders to purchase items with lower taxes, and the IR issues you've touched upon.

    The issue in Greece and the Iberian peninsula is putting the theory of a combined monetary system to the test, but remember that the original goals of the EU was to make another major conflict between states in Europe impossible, and that preventing the collapse into bankruptcy and possible anarchy of a member economy was identified as a significant way to achieve this, even if it did mean that the strong economy suffered somewhat in the process.
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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig View Post
    I could be very much wrong, but I'm sure Switzerland copes fine without the Euro or being in the EU.
    They've got all that Nazi gold to live off.

    And cheese with holes in it. ****s.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig View Post
    I could be very much wrong, but I'm sure Switzerland copes fine without the Euro or being in the EU.
    Craigos, that's a terrible example, francly..





    I'll show myself out..

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Matt's made some good points, but he's barely scratched the surface of a seriously complex issues. There are serious inefficiencies in a system involving multiple currencies too. The interaction between thirty different economies, none of which anyone can even fully agree on individually, is almost incomprehensible. There aren't very many people qualified to even have an opinion on it, and I certainly don't consider myself one of them.
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    Spanish_Vicente sledger's Avatar
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    Have done EU law studies for the past year. Glad to see the back of it. All for the EU itself though, generally, does have some massive deficiencies.

  10. #10
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    Hmmmm, think its one for the continetals to answer, the general consensus in the UK errs away from the EU... Whilst the EU and the EEC do offer a fair amount of stability in both policy and trade, and offers protection for smaller nations on both fronts, it is also a bemoth of red tape and legislation.

    And us Brits are far too arrogant to accept Johnny Foreigners view that their system would work better than ours (with justification too )
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    World Traveller Craig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt79 View Post
    They've got all that Nazi gold to live off.

    And cheese with holes in it. ****s.
    IIRC when Marcos stole basically all of the Philippines money, he put it in Swiss bank accounts, and when he died, so did any chance of getting the money back.

    What I meant earlier was that if Switzerland could cope fine without being in the EU, is there much use for the bugger countries being part of the EU, or any relevance towards EU membership?

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Samuel_Vimes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig View Post
    IIRC when Marcos stole basically all of the Philippines money, he put it in Swiss bank accounts, and when he died, so did any chance of getting the money back.

    What I meant earlier was that if Switzerland could cope fine without being in the EU, is there much use for the bugger countries being part of the EU, or any relevance towards EU membership?
    avoiding



    Perhaps simplifying, but it is remarkable how little residual resentment there is left in Europe after two wars wiped out considerable swathes of their generations. I'd argue that the increased trade and free movement of people across Europe has helped to heal the wounds.

  13. #13
    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    Devastated my "francly" pun has been ignored.

    A bit like Switzerland itself, really.

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    Cricketer Of The Year Mr Casson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgey View Post
    Devastated my "francly" pun has been ignored.

    A bit like Switzerland itself, really.
    I'm still disappointed you didn't say, "You took the words right out of my mouth" after my singagram.

    I mean, it was the sole reason you signed me up to do it in the first place. It's in the contract ffs!

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgey View Post
    Devastated my "francly" pun has been ignored.
    Just observing the Geneva Convention

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