Sunday, November 29, 2015

EU:intersecting crises

Wolfgang Münchau continues to chronicle the tangle of crises in which the EU and the eurozone find themselves (Europe needs a sense of strategic direction to survive Financial Times 11/29/2015):

... there are too many crises occurring simultaneously for which the EU is unprepared: refugees, terrorism, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, eurozone sovereign debt, Britain’s future in the EU, Greece’s future in the eurozone, the Portuguese constitutional crisis, Catalonian independence, Italian banks, Volkswagen. We will soon need a crisis database to keep track.
And he discusses how the refugee crisis has exposed the limits of Merkel's extend-and-pretend crisis management style in a much broader way than the euro crisis had previously:

Ms Merkel committed a significant error in the way she opened the doors to refugees. She did not consult other political leaders nor even her own party. She underestimated the impact and failed to make logistical preparations. Are we really surprised that some EU countries refuse to accept even the modest quotas proposed? ...

The EU is überfordert — overwhelmed — by global and regional military conflicts, the co-ordination of macroeconomic policy and humanitarian emergencies. ...

At present the EU response to all these crises is to fudge forward. As we saw in the euro crisis, this can work for a time. But, while you can play tricks of smoke and mirrors with debt, it is hard to make this work with refugees. If the external border is not sufficiently well controlled, countries will ultimately have no choice but to impose their own domestic controls. And so they should. [my emphasis in bold]

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