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Mortyman
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Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:04 am

At a pressconferance ahead of the EU summit this morning, Angela Merkel said that EU should have veto powers over the national budgets of it's members ...


- We have made progress in our efforts to achieve a better budget discipline with the financial covenant, we believe, and I speak for the entire German government, that we should go a step further and give the EU the right to intervene in the national budgets that breakes the boundaries of the EU's growth and financial covenant.

Article only in Norwegian:

http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/verden/1.8362961

This is in my opinion extreme. Are sovereign member countries in the EU actually gonna accept this ?
 
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fr8mech
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:47 am

Quoting Mortyman (Thread starter):
This is in my opinion extreme. Are sovereign member countries in the EU actually gonna accept this ?

I really don't see where they have a choice.

The EU is a conglomerate of nations that have made a political and economic alliance. But, in some cases, national interests, nationalism and sovereignty issues prevent nations from acting in the interest of the EU.

Other than the Euro, the EU has no coalescing issue. The people don't share a culture. Their history may be shared, to an extent, but that sharing is usually at opposite ends of a battle line.

I've always told my dad (who lives in Greece) that the EU member nations will have to give up their sovereignty if they want this thing to work. Else, the EU will dissolve.

Allowing the Eu to hold sway over member nation's budgets allows the EU to try and steer that nation's economy for the success of the EU and not that particular nation's success.

Will it happen? Nope, too many big, patriotic egos in the room.

But, I'm no EU expert.
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wolbo
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:01 pm

Makes perfect sense to me and I don't see what is 'extreme' about it.

There has been agreement in the EU for many years on national budgets (max 3% budget deficit, max 60% state debt) but the EU so far lacked the will and the means to enforce it.

The Euro crises (really more a debt crisis) makes clear that it needs a way to enforce budget agreements and this proposal addresses that. To my knowledge it doesn't (and shouldn't) determine how a national budget is made. Setting the policy priorities for that is the responsibility of a national government but it does give the EU the authority to send a national budget back to it's parliament if it doesn't meet the requirements set at EU level.

This measure as well as the proposed banking union are needed structural steps to solve the Euro crisis. Although they also make sense on EU level they are primarily aimed at the Euro zone and should have been in place from the beginning. The risk is that these and others measures to follow will increase the gap between the Euro and non-Euro countries.

[Edited 2012-10-18 05:40:10]
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:10 pm

Quoting Mortyman (Thread starter):
This is in my opinion extreme. Are sovereign member countries in the EU actually gonna accept this ?

Extreme? Maybe. Necessary? Yes. I agree with Merkel.
 
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Semaex
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:23 pm


We have made progress in our efforts to achieve a better budget discipline with the financial covenant, we believe, and I speak for the entire German government, that we should go a step further and give the EU the right to intervene in the national budgets that breakes the boundaries of the EU's growth and financial covenant.

Isn't that interesting? In a world where every nations just wants it all and wants it now, there is a tiny spot somewhere between the Atlantic Ocean and the Asian supercontinent where people are willing to give up sovereignty and thus power for the greater good of a greater population. Call me nuts, but that in itselft is a huge leap forward with respect to what Europe looked like just a century ago. Humanity seems to be evolving quite rapidly, let's hope the European Union can set an example to other regions of the world, where it's still eye for an eye.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 1):
The EU is a conglomerate of nations that have made a political and economic alliance. But, in some cases, national interests, nationalism and sovereignty issues prevent nations from acting in the interest of the EU.

  
I can only add what Albert Einstein once said: "Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of
mankind."


Quoting Wolbo (Reply 2):
There has been agreement in the EU for many years on national budgets (max 3% budget deficit, max 60% state debt) but the EU so far lacked the will and the means to enforce it.

Well I wouldn't blame it on the EU that such criteria have not been met. After all, they were responsibilities of each and every member nation. So this suggestion by Merkel is the right way towards meeting such criteria. Thinking ahead, who are most likely those nations that would oppose to such a push? I'm guessing those that have sill not quite realized that making unreasonable debt is not a solution. As I have no current numbers I cannot name all countries that would oppose to such an idea, but I'm quite sure that amongst others the "wealthy, nationalist and proud" nations who suck on the EU to gain nothing but advantages over others will be up front. The United Kingdom comes to mind. Nations such as Greece or Spain are not in a position to confront the idea, and France and Italy are rather pro-EU, so I can see them not opposed to the idea. But as I said, there's still the UK...
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:24 pm

Quoting Mortyman (Thread starter):
Are sovereign member countries in the EU actually gonna accept this ?

If all the EU kids want to use mommy's credit card they're going to have to play by the rules, no? I don't see how they could possibly avoid this. If there is no common financial control over spending EU-wide, the EU is dead; it's just a matter of time. To me this is *the* fundamental problem of the EU.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:37 pm

Another thing might be unified egislation and especially enforcement to prevent tax dodging. The lower and middle class in most countries is taxed at the source, therefore has no chance to avoid taxes, but this doesn´t apply to non-employed or self-employed people, who often get their income through capital gains instead of work. There exist many loopholes (legal and illegal) for them to avoid paying taxes.

I recently read an article in the Spiegel magazine that while in Greece the middle and lower classes are mostly carrying the burden, the upper classes are still acting like before, with corrupt polticians and tax dodging business people.
A list of Greeks, who had iundeclared Swiss accounts was given by the former French minister of economy, Mrs. Lagarde (now head of the IMF) to the Greek government two years ago (the French got hold of it while investigating their own tax dodgers). It misteriously disappeared and only turned up again a few weeks ago.

Similarly all of the EU countries currently in economic problems (maybe with the exception of Ireland) have issues with corruption and illegal tax evading by members of the upper class in these countries and them carrying their share of the burden.

Jan
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Dreadnought
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:42 pm

I would want to point out that the US has had the same issue for over 200 years, and has never had to stoop to having any control or veto over state budgets. The result is that some states run themselves sensibly and attract business, and others don't.

They just have to learn to live with consequences. A big state sector has its price.

Switzerland (on a much smaller scale) similarly has no such problem. Aren't they happy that they rejected EU membership by referendum back in the 90s although the government wanted to do it anyway. Just shows you what happens when you leave decisions to politicians. I think referendums should be adopted in all modern countries for all major decisions.

[Edited 2012-10-18 05:45:11]
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:47 pm

Quoting Mortyman (Thread starter):
This is in my opinion extreme. Are sovereign member countries in the EU actually gonna accept this ?

This shows, that you didn't understand the idea of the EU. Sooner or later the European unification will lead to a single country in form of a federation or kind of "United States of Europe". Perhaps not all member states of the EU will follow this way in the first time, but sooner or later they will learn that this is the only way to survive in a globalized world, between countries like the US, Russia, China, and some other powers, which yet have to emerge.

Also Norway should realize that your oil springs won't bubble for ever.

Quoting Semaex (Reply 4):
Isn't that interesting? In a world where every nations just wants it all and wants it now, there is a tiny spot somewhere between the Atlantic Ocean and the Asian supercontinent where people are willing to give up sovereignty and thus power for the greater good of a greater population. Call me nuts, but that in itselft is a huge leap forward with respect to what Europe looked like just a century ago. Humanity seems to be evolving quite rapidly, let's hope the European Union can set an example to other regions of the world, where it's still eye for an eye.

  

[Edited 2012-10-18 06:02:42]
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cmf
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:58 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 1):
Their history may be shared, to an extent, but that sharing is usually at opposite ends of a battle line.

While there has been far too many wars this is fortunately not an accurate description. Most shared history is thru trade, labour, family and education and research.
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casinterest
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:14 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 7):
I would want to point out that the US has had the same issue for over 200 years, and has never had to stoop to having any control or veto over state budgets. The result is that some states run themselves sensibly and attract business, and others don't.

And a Federal Government that is 16 trillion in debt .........
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Aesma
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:51 pm

I think it's a logical step. I also think it's incredibly stupid of Merkel to bring it up now, when the previous treaty isn't even signed by every country yet.

In fact I think this can't happen before several years and a stabilization of the situation. The governments of troubled countries are already making the necessary changes, with an increasing number of EU citizens angry about it, but it's still done because it comes from their government (even if sometimes they look like puppet governments). Imposing EU control over budgets now is a recipe for disaster.

Beside, where is the hope ? When does Merkel, since she seems intent on taking the helm, inspire us and speak of a better future ? 2013 will be another year of recession, probably attaining France and yes, even Germany. The EU controlling budgets will not bring growth.

Quoting cmf (Reply 9):
While there has been far too many wars this is fortunately not an accurate description. Most shared history is thru trade, labour, family and education and research.

And migration and marriage (I see now that you did mention family). One of my great grandfathers was a general fighting for Italy in WW2, against France. My grandfather moved to France to become an auto worker and now a third of my family is French, a third Italian, and a third both.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 5):
If all the EU kids want to use mommy's credit card they're going to have to play by the rules, no?

It's a little bit more complicated than that. Germany is exporting to the EU far more than it is importing from it. In fact they're breaking a rule doing this ! But there, they don't want to be sanctioned. If the economies of its neighbors collapse, the German credit card will not have a great credit rating. BTW France is 3/4 the economic size of Germany and so are our contributions, they're not meaningless and Hollande is saying right now that he doesn't think that new proposal is a good idea for now (and even said it was probably an electoral maneuver from Merkel).
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daedaeg
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:12 pm

Germany will rule Europe one way or another. I guess this is its best chance since it didn't succeed 60+ years ago.
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PanHAM
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:01 pm

Quoting daedaeg (Reply 12):
Germany will rule Europe one way or another. I guess this is its best chance since it didn't succeed 60+ years ago.

we joined and pushed forward the European Union to avoid exactly that. We have the strongest economy for a good number of reasons but we are one of 27 by choice.

Now, Ms. Merkel cannot have said that in the way the headline shows. Actually our finance minister, on thze way bacl from Singapore, said something close to the message.

Makes me wonder, as a parlamentarian for decades, he definately does know that the budget is the sovereign right of the parliament.

The executive, espcially not one from Brussels, which has no popular vote that legitimates them, cannot overrule the sovereign decision of a parliament.

In Germany, that would require a change of the constitution and I am not sure if the applicable paragraph is not an eternal one, which cannot be changed even by a 2/3 majority, which is the threshold otherwise.
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Aesma
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:26 pm

I have the video (admittedly I don't understand German and there is a French translation, but it's Euronews so should be accurate). She says (my translation from French) :

"we believe, by we I mean the German government, that we should push further by giving the EU real intervention rights in national budgets of countries failing to adhere to the stability pact".

She added : "I am astonished that, no sooner does someone make a progressive proposal…the cry immediately comes that this won't work, Germany is isolated, we can't do it," she said. "This is not how we build a credible Europe."

How ironic, considering that when several countries push for eurobonds her answer is literally "over my dead body".
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Kiwirob
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:02 pm

Quoting oldeuropean (Reply 8):

Also Norway should realize that your oil springs won't bubble for ever.

I'm absolutely certain that Norway will become a member of the EU within my lifetime, the Norwegian bubble will pop and they will have to come cap in hand and beg to get in, they would have been much better off coming in from a position of financial strength.
 
BMI727
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:08 pm

Quoting Mortyman (Thread starter):
Are sovereign member countries in the EU actually gonna accept this ?

How sovereign are they really? There was the thing a while back where the French couldn't set immigration policy, the Euro takes monetary policy decisions out of individual countries' hands, and now they may lose control of budgets too.

But I agree with Germany on this: if you're going to play with German money, they're going to get some choice in where it goes. At the same time, the debtors don't have a choice since they no longer get to set monetary policy.

The EU is generally a useful idea, but it may have gone too far.
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PanHAM
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:28 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 14):
budgets of countries failing to adhere to the stability pact"

well, in that case yes. But then the headline of the thread is wrong.

For Greece and others, they have to accept intervention if they want a bail out.

I know it is more compliated than that, but pumping in money into Greece or other countries without having a right to intervene on spedning cannot be.
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:20 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 7):
I would want to point out that the US has had the same issue for over 200 years, and has never had to stoop to having any control or veto over state budgets. The result is that some states run themselves sensibly and attract business, and others don't.

The difference being that the states aren't just a loose federation of economically aligned entities. We share a culture. We share a common history. We share a common language. The EU has none of these things.

The EU is not a nation with unified leadership. It is an economic alliance whose stability rests on its least stable members. Some of those members are, even now, evaluating whether they act in the best interests of the EU or themselves.
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Aesma
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:22 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 1):
Allowing the Eu to hold sway over member nation's budgets allows the EU to try and steer that nation's economy for the success of the EU and not that particular nation's success.
Quoting fr8mech (Reply 18):
Some of those members are, even now, evaluating whether they act in the best interests of the EU or themselves.

It can't work that way and never will. Compromises have to be met, but if a country only sees a grim future, it will bail.

And you mention the less strong members, but what sacrifices is Germany making ? The money is virtual, they have a huge debt and still can borrow for almost nothing, it's not like if every German has a new 10% tax to pay to help other countries.
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damirc
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:36 pm

Well to be honest, the tide is turning ...

I can't comment about other countries, but Euro skepticism is on the rise over here. Yes, we're also in financial trouble (and the basis is our own indeciseveness and prolonging the pension reforms for far too long for national political reasons), but the troubles are actually deepened by speculations. Our banks have been majorly hit by the banking crisis in the neighbouring countries (not pointing in any specific direction) and our 10-year bond interest have sky rocketed primarily for this reason. Unfortunately the solution that would help the financially weaker countries is not in the interest of the stronger countries which causes a major rift between the two blocks.

Quite frankly, I dislike the direction the EU is going and had the direction been clear back in 2004 I would've voted against. I am aware of the economic risks, but with a good plan that could've worked out better for us (well considering our politicians - nah, not likely). We should've worked on strengthening the economic links, not making one giant federation out of the EU (which quite frankly I can not see working in the near to mid future - European nations are culturally too different and this obviously isn't making any sense to our decision makers).

And I'll also state that after 73 years in Yugoslavia (and the final crisis and the bloody end of it had in small part also been caused by economic hardships, which allowed for nationalism to grow stronger and the rest is a too well known story). It all starts and ends with money.

Also - I also dislike how the EU is treating it's internal markets - there is not one, but there's 2 qualitatively very different markets which is also quite despicable. To name but 2 examples - buy a certain well known brand chocolate bar in my country or across the border in Austria (a giant 15 km apart) - they will cost the same, but one is very much inferior in taste to the other - care to guess which one? The same banal situation appears for washing powder ... buy it over here it'll cost the same (or more) than in Austria, yet ours is full with phosphates and generally produces a worse result. How is this possible? Well - there are several factories producing those products, and for some odd reason we get the worse product for no good reason, but can pay the same price. (btw - these products are just 2 of the giant list of "differing" products). Quite frankly - the European egalitarism is slowly showing it's tears ...

D.

Edited: name of the cholocate bar obscured.

[Edited 2012-10-18 14:51:24]
 
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Aesma
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:10 pm

Well for the chocolate I can guess that it's indeed the EU's fault for following lobbies. It allowed a reduction of cacao content in what can be called chocolate. I'm guessing that in Austria the manufacturer can't get away with it so it has not changed its recipe, while in Slovenia you get the crappy stuff.

On the other hand how many plants has Slovenia gained since its entrance in the EU ?
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damirc
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:16 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 21):
On the other hand how many plants has Slovenia gained since its entrance in the EU ?

Quite frankly (and in little part due to the incompetence of our leading elite and the endless bureaucracy) not many. Trying to think of even one large company that was created new and I can't really think of even one.

A french car manufacturer's plant grew, but even that was massively subsidized. There was some growth in the industry exporting primarly to Germany (car manufacturers, tech products but usually only parts - rarely complete products). What we did lose is quite a bit of the well educated cadre which we will miss in the future.

D.

(sorry for not typing out names of products/manufacturers)
 
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Dano1977
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:05 pm

The United Kingdom prime minister has a tight rope to walk in Brussels.

Should be fun...
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lewis
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:06 pm

It is an extreme measure but it is needed. If a common currency is used and rules have to be followed, it is only natural that budgets have to be centrally approved.

I just do not trust the EU more than any other nation to do that job, at least not more than local politicians. Some countries in the group have a much bigger say in how things are done and we have seen from the case of Greece that some national (non-Greek) interests are driving the focus of budget cuts. You only need to look at Greece's military budget and the "proceed with arms procurements as planned" clauses in the Memorandums. I do not want to see troubled countries being dictated what to cut and what not to cut, depending on what other countries will lose/gain from it.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 14):
She added : "I am astonished that, no sooner does someone make a progressive proposal…the cry immediately comes that this won't work, Germany is isolated, we can't do it," she said. "This is not how we build a credible Europe."

How ironic, considering that when several countries push for eurobonds her answer is literally "over my dead body".

I agree with your observation, even though I am not for eurobonds and pooling the debt. If every idea has to pass the German test, then Germany should not feel isolated when going against ideas brought forward by large groups of EU countries.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 6):

Glad to see that after more than two years, people are starting to realize that the big problem is caused by the few who owe the government huge sums of money (like millions each!) and not by grandma's 300 euro pension, someone's siesta or some ouzo drinking on the beach.
 
damirc
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:08 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 21):
On the other hand how many plants has Slovenia gained since its entrance in the EU ?

Been thinking about this, and I have to correct myself. In the radius of say 50 km I know of 5 companies that have been created by (in 1 case partially) foreign capital - one is a bio electricity plant (natural gas electricity production) that is again subsidized, so technically not the best example. The other 2 are pure manufacturing plants - one a textile plant (employing
 
pesit4a
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:34 am

Quoting Semaex (Reply 4):
I can only add what Albert Einstein once said: "Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of
mankind."

Well, i'm sorry, but I dont fully agree with that. Nationalism, so long as it is not the chauvanistic kind, can be a force for positive change in a country.

On the subject of budgetary oversight, I'm not opposed to that. Let's face it - couldnt we all do with an oversight that stops our governments trying to buy the people off to get elected?

Once there are appropriate safegaurds, I dont see it as a bad thing.
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DocLightning
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:26 am

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 7):

I would want to point out that the US has had the same issue for over 200 years, and has never had to stoop to having any control or veto over state budgets. The result is that some states run themselves sensibly and attract business, and others don't.

I don't think it's a very valid comparison. The EU itself does not have a "national budget" in the sense that the US does. For example, every country in the EU manages its own highways and train lines, power lines and power plants, etc. They also all have their own laws without much overarching EU oversight (although there is some).

Contrast this to the US where we have a national highway system, a national power grid, all sorts of national laws, a national court system, etc. The differences are enormous and they have nothing to do with a common culture. But they do have to do with history. The US existed first as 13 states that really joined together to gain independence from a colonial power. The rest of the country was hacked out of the wilderness, out of the tribes, and out of foreign territories. That is absolutely not the case in the EU.

I think that, like it or not, the general tendency of institutions such as the EU is to consolidate power. Whether it is a good idea or not, I think that it is inevitable.
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YokoTsuno
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:09 am

Quoting lewis (Reply 24):
I do not want to see troubled countries being dictated what to cut and what not to cut, depending on what other countries will lose/gain from it.

There isn’t a single country in the world that can do whatever it wishes and this is even more true so for troubled ones, allied or non-allied. The only way to deal with it is to move up the social ladder or somehow become bigger. No different from the status of an employee within a company.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 18):
The EU is not a nation with unified leadership. It is an economic alliance whose stability rests on its least stable members. Some of those members are, even now, evaluating whether they act in the best interests of the EU or themselves.

That's indeed the problem. Unless you find a way to fix or balance this, the centripetal forces to dismantle the EU will always be there. This is very visible in a country I know pretty well, Belgium, where the interests of the North have completely diverted from the South.

Quoting lewis (Reply 24):
Glad to see that after more than two years, people are starting to realize that the big problem is caused by the few who owe the government huge sums of money (like millions each!) and not by grandma's 300 euro pension, someone's siesta or some ouzo drinking on the beach.

This is an often heard point of view. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. If you cut the €3,000 pensions of 100 “fat cats” for instance you save €300,000. If you cut the €300 pensions of 100,000 “commoners” the saving is 30 million. That's the difference. Fairness and cost saving are unfortunately not very compatible.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 21):
I'm guessing that in Austria the manufacturer can't get away with it so it has not changed its recipe, while in Slovenia you get the crappy stuff.

This is no different in large nations like the US or China. Such nations have differences too. If you murder someone in one state in the US you go to the gallows while in another state you could walk off scot-free for the same offence (A bit exaggerated ). The reason why this is an issue in the EU and not in the US is that the Americans as a single nation/culture have learned to accept these differences since they can easily move from one (depressed) place to another (prosperous) place without feeling out-of-place or playing second fiddle. The Europeans, just as we here in Asia haven’t or don't want to.

Quoting lewis (Reply 24):
If every idea has to pass the German test, then Germany should not feel isolated when going against ideas brought forward by large groups of EU countries.

IMHO this is wishful thinking at this point in time. For this to work, Germany has to accept that the EU as a whole is the largest common denominator of all individual member states. I can't speak for the Germans but I don’t think they look at it this way.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:32 am

Quoting lewis (Reply 24):
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 6):

Glad to see that after more than two years, people are starting to realize that the big problem is caused by the few who owe the government huge sums of money (like millions each!) and not by grandma's 300 euro pension, someone's siesta or some ouzo drinking on the beach.

Ok, but what are you going to do about it? I know that one of your former defence ministers is now in jail for having received millions of kickbacks for defence contracts (which overcharged the state), but this is just the beginning.There are loads people in Greece, Italy and Spain who lead a lifestyle totally incompartible with their declared income, but the government doesn´t do anything about it (in Greece quite the opposite as the "disappeared" LaGarde files proved).
If I tried stunts likeq these over here I´d have the "Steuerfahndung" (tax office enforcement branch) after me like bloodhounds. They are armed and have more powers than the police.
And it has been made clear that illegal tax evasion of mkore than € 100.000 means a prison sentence, not a fine.

Us Germans are not after domonation of Europe (you Brits don´t need to be worried, Adolf isn´t around anymore), but there is a strong fdeeling of wariness as not to be ripped off.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
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Aesma
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:40 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 27):
I don't think it's a very valid comparison. The EU itself does not have a "national budget" in the sense that the US does. For example, every country in the EU manages its own highways and train lines, power lines and power plants, etc. They also all have their own laws without much overarching EU oversight (although there is some).

You forgot to mention a big part of your budget, the military. No EU military, and we even managed to compete among ourselves to build tanks and planes and guns. No unified border controls either, Frontex being a joke.

About the laws I would be more nuanced as a lot of the laws (80% or thereabout) an EU member country votes each year now comes from the EU. They're still made into national laws but every country ends up with basically the same ones. And of course for the judiciary there is an European court of justice and a court of human rights that tends to bring our criminal codes closer and closer, along with an EU wide ban on the death penalty.
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NAV20
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:06 pm

I was living and working in the UK when the whole thing started. In those days the association was known as the 'Common Market,' and by and large it worked very well. We certainly did a lot more business with Europe, and they did a lot with us. And it was especially pleasant, when travelling (whether on business or pleasure), still to be able to enjoy the diversity of Europe - one could literally pass through two or three countries in a day, and they were all different; but also all very ready to do mutually-beneficial business with each other.

There is no doubt in my mind that recent problems are basically the result of the introduction of the Euro. The very idea of imposing a common currency on so many very different countries, with vastly-different economies and cultures, was always going to be a nonsense; and so it has proved.

To try to put the basic problem into a few words; Germany has a very strong economy, and the result of that is that it sells vast quantities of manufactured goods to the rest of Europe. Which are paid for in Euros. The result of that has been that many (if not all) other European countries can't afford to pay Germany for its exports. So Merkel (one politician I simply can't stand) finds herself in a situation in which the only way Germany can get itself paid for its exports is by lending vast amounts of (basically German) Euros to its (more or less penniless) customer countries.........

An absolute nonsense, of course. And Merkel is wrong to react by pressing for a system in which Germany can virtually govern the whole EU; if only because it simply won't work, in terms of Germany's customers being able to pay for the goods they buy from Germany (except in what is effectively 'German' money).

The answer is, of course, to phase out the Euro and have all EU countries revert to their own currencies, so that the poorer ones can devalue as necessary - thus stemming the 'fatal inward flow' of imports that they simply can't afford.

That may not sound like a very attractive solution. But it does have the virtue of being the only solution that can possibly work, in terms of restoring some sort of equilibrium. It's the only solution that has EVER worked in this sort of situation.

[Edited 2012-10-19 06:09:05]
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:17 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 31):

The answer is, of course, to phase out the Euro and have all EU countries revert to their own currencies, so that the poorer ones can devalue as necessary - thus stemming the 'fatal inward flow' of imports that they simply can't afford.

This discussion existed BEFORE the Euro was extened to Greece. There were warnings about Greece´s financial situation, but from Greece Germany was accused of wanting to keep Greece a poor country with the Drachma and to withhold the wealth that the Euro would bring to Greece. The usual accusations and reminders about our history were mentioned as well.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
PanHAM
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:44 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 31):
sells vast quantities of manufactured goods to the rest of Europe. Which are paid for in Euros. The result of that has been that many (if not all) other European countries can't afford to pay Germany for its exports. So Merkel (one politician I simply can't stand) finds herself in a situation in which the only way Germany can get itself paid for its exports is by lending vast amounts of (basically German) Euros to its (more or less penniless) customer countries.........

Greece is a € country, so what else would private companies in greece (no, the state is not involved here) pay for imports from Germany? Mrs. Merkel, if you like her or not, is not the seller of German goods. That works completely independent from the Government.

If a customer is pennyless, he cannot buy and certainly will not get merchandise.

Greece is broke for a couple of reasons, one is that they totally overspend their budgets for years and years and have no control on tax income, with many rich Greeks paying no taxes at all and provinces not transferring their taxes share they collect to Athens. At lkeast not the part which belongs to the central government.


The fact that Germany and other European countries bail out Greece and others is not the fault of our industry, which, BTW does not have to ask the government for permission to sell.
Was Erlauben Erdogan!!!
 
NAV20
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:10 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 33):
The fact that Germany and other European countries bail out Greece and others is not the fault of our industry, which, BTW does not have to ask the government for permission to sell.

Misunderstanding, I think, PanHAM. I'm not in any way 'blaming' German industry for succeeding?
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:15 pm

I had some initial thoughts to this but then I got to thinking...

It's not as if the EU will send military forces forcing a nation to comply with any national budget veto (if this measure gets passed.) The EU is not an empire, it is voluntary. A country should have a chance to decide its sovereignty... if this idea is unacceptable, then don't join the EU. I can see why Germany would be concerned, a lot of German money is going down the drain thanks to a few poorly run governments. I actually wish the US would govern its budget this way...
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:22 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 33):
Greece is broke for a couple of reasons, one is that they totally overspend their budgets for years and years and have no control on tax income, with many rich Greeks paying no taxes at all

That can't make you go broke! That's how we do it here!

Signed,

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PanHAM
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:30 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 36):
That can't make you go broke! That's how we do it here!

yes, but the national economy of the USA is by far greater than that of Greece.

The interesting point is, as it looks now, it can't make Greece going broke either. Simply because the damage to the other national economies would be far greater than the damage they have from keeping Greece afloat.

Now, imagine, if a country can pull that trick with just a misery 3% share of the EU GNP , that means that the USA can go on and print money forever.

The old saying is true, if you owe your bank $ 1000,00 you have a problem, if you owe your bank 1 million, the bank has a problem.

At least, supervision por some from of trusteeship, to keep up with the headline of this thread, is something the Greeks will have to cope with. Now, the US should be careful, you might end up as a Chinese province.  
Was Erlauben Erdogan!!!
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:20 am

There is an interesting article on the BBC website stating that a rightwing party in Greece is now acting very much like the Stormtroopers in Germany just before Hitler got to power in the early 1930s, with tacit support by the police:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-19976841
Scary stuff.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
pesit4a
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RE: Merkel: EU Should Have Veto Over National Budgets

Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:21 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 38):
There is an interesting article on the BBC website stating that a rightwing party in Greece is now acting very much like the Stormtroopers in Germany just before Hitler got to power in the early 1930s, with tacit support by the police:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-19976841
Scary stuff.

That this is going on inside our borders should scare all of us in the EU.

Greece is being ripped apart by all this, and we really need to look at how harsh the short period of adjustment has been.
You just can't keep a good man down!

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