France, Germany and the European racket

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 09.42.27In the minds of the European political class, writes Dalrymple, populations are ignorant and stupid and electorates are

just a bloody nuisance, getting in the way of proper policy. That is why the class is so attached to European institutions, in which powerful apparatchiks who know best can take no notice of the dummy parliament and do not have to face the humiliating ritual of elections.

Forced European unity, writes Dalrymple,

conjured from no popular sentiment by a combination of bureaucratic mediocrity and gaseous utopianism, is more likely to lead to conflict than to prevent it.

How so? Dalrymple explains. François Hollande, the French president,

wants increased government spending to avoid the reduction in public sector employment, wages and social protections that would be brought about by liberalisation of the labour market. Thanks to the currency union (to which the population of neither France nor Germany consented), French wishes can be met by one of only two methods: either the Germans pay for the deficits of other countries or accept a high rate of inflation.

Hollande was elected on a programme that could not but have brought him into conflict with Germany, says Dalrymple.

But without the monetary union, there would have been no such possible conflict: Hollande could have followed his own policy (albeit at the cost of constant devaluation and the eventual impoverishment of his country) without bothering Germany.


the overweening ambition of the European political class has resuscitated conflict between old enemies where none need have existed.

Dalrymple adds:

This is not to say that either the French or the German political élites have fallen out of love with the European project, far from it. The question is Humpty Dumpty’s: ‘which is to be master — that’s all’. It has proved rather a dangerous one in Europe down the ages.

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