Monday, July 20, 2020
Absurdity of the EU unity
Some folks could have thought that the departure of the U.K. would make the European Union visibly more unified. Well, the ongoing EU summit in Brussels makes it very clear that this fantasy was always detached from reality. The continental part of the European Union has more than enough sources to completely mock the idea that Europe is "close to being one country".
The prime ministers have been talking about the post-Covid recovery fund that is supposed to be a stunning €0.75 trillion. Thirty 100-kilometer colliders. After the two standard days reserved for the proceedings, they haven't agreed about anything. So they added a third day, Sunday. It didn't help. They will meet at 4 pm again.
The main conflict is one between the "Frugal Four", Austria, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, which are the fiscally responsible "significant payers", and the old members (like PIGS) who aren't really big payers. This conflict could be very simple: the Frugal Four doesn't want to pay so much while the PIGS want to be paid even more than before. However, PIGS' main ally is really Germany whose Chancelor wants to rob her voters as much as possible. Common sense and democratic accountability is dead in Germany which makes it possible for Germany to be the de facto leader of the fiscally irresponsible bloc. France is a parttime servant to Germany.
The Frugal Four is obviously right and their contribution to the EU budget has become insanely high. Even more importantly, this money that is increasingly being transferred to the "South" isn't spent wisely. It supports the pathological management of the Southern economies and even their unemployment. It's like a money that you pay to a charity dealing with "Africa" which only increases the corruption and laziness in those countries.
On top of that, there are additional conflicts that are more personal or ideological in character. Some people want to mix their political opinions about the internal affairs in other countries with the – seemingly purely financial – decisions about the budget. So these people want to harass mainly Poland and Hungary. The actual reason for this desire to harass these countries is Poland's and Hungary's opposition to multiculturalism and other tenets of the far left orthodoxy, a pernicious pathology that has permeated much of Western Europe and North America by now. They invent various euphemisms for the Polish and Hungarian opposition to neo-Marxism. Their being politically incorrect is surely a "defect of the rule of law or democracy". It's not.
In the case of Viktor Orbán, Hungary's PM, it got personal. In particular, Dutch PM Rutte is a big Orbán hater. Orbán would surely be capable of finding a psychiatrist for Rutte which is the adequate solution of this problem. Instead, excessive politeness is what makes other leaders silent about the fact that a better psychiatrist is what Mr Rutte needs, and his psychological problems are crippling discussions about €0.75 trillion.
French PM Macron has banged the table and Austrian PM Kurz stopped listening. ;-)
Czech PM Babiš had some correct criticisms against the system – countries shouldn't be rewarded for a high unemployment rate, a high unemployment rate shouldn't be considered a proxy to the impact of the Covid lockdown, and so on – but at the end, he was following a very down-to-Earth policy to get as much money for Czechia as possible. I find it unfortunate. I think it's bad that he has de facto abandoned the Visegrád Group in this way. Babiš has explicitly said that "we have nothing to do with the problem that has Poland and Hungary in the core so we won't participate in these discussions". Sorry, we have a lot to do with these discussions. Our closest allies are being targeted for an unfair treatment and we may very well follow in their footsteps.
The EU nations have totally different interests and different ideologies and beliefs (about neo-Marxism, budgets, the ideal co-existence of nations in Europe and everything else) are dominant in different EU member states. And yes, I forgot to point out that the left-wing loons want to waste something like 1/4 of the huge amount of money for sacrifices to the cretins' global warming religion (Babiš is on the sane side but he is not audible enough). The very idea that these nations should share trillions of euros seems crazy to me. The redistribution of the money at the level of the EU should be gradually pushed towards zero. The EU should be pushed back to being a useful bloc with a passport area, free trade zone, and an alliance where countries may easily join harmonized policies, but purely on a voluntary basis.
The financial transfers should basically stop and countries like Italy should deal with their shortage of finances (and they should try to avoid the otherwise unavoidable government default) by selling land or islands. In a no-nonsense way, they should transfer a piece of the territory e.g. to Austria and Austria should pay something like 3 times the "individual-level market price" of the land. The ongoing gift-like transfers ("grants") are very dangerous because the two sides of the transfer always have different ideas about the question "whether strings are attached at all" and "what these strings actually are" and this is why the interpretation of these transfers increase the tensions for the future.
In particular, we saw this very serious disagreement in the case of the flows to the poorer post-communist countries. Sometimes people in Western Europe indicate that this money was flowing in exchange for the ability of Western European politicians to spread neo-Marxism in countries like mine. Sorry, it wasn't the case: just read the treaties that led to the redistribution. The money was flowing because the EU wanted to be more uniform which is better for its ability to operate as a whole – so richer countries paid something to the poorer ones with "no strings attached"! We are still democratic countries and because great majorities of our voters reject neo-Marxism, we just won't deliberately build neo-Marxism here (the EU has conquered a big part of our school systems so some neo-Marxism is flowing here, anyway). It's crazy to suggest that some 1-2 percent of the GDP that has been flowing from the West to us should change these basic consequences of democracy (not to mention that 5% of the Czech GDP is flowing out, mostly to Western Europe, in the form of dividends).
Dear prime ministers of the European countries, how much time do you need to understand that this European Union pretending to be a tight union speaking with one voice and attempting to be ever more unified is a ludicrous, unsustainable, and dangerous lie? Stop this theater. We need a powerful enough group of prime ministers to point out that the emperor (and Mrs Leyen) has no clothes and we need to plan a new, elegant Velvet Divorce of the EU.