They Told You So
The once-ignored critics of economic and monetary union are being vindicated.
6:10 PM, Apr 28, 2010 • By VICTORINO MATUS
Having lived in Austria just as it was entering the European Union (1993-1994), I can tell you the charms of the EU were irresistable—all those pins and stickers and posters in deep blue with twelve golden stars arrayed in a circle! And the benefits: No more traffic jams at the border. Live in Germany, work in France, kein Problem! "Get on the train now or you're going to miss it," one student told me. And so Austria got on board. As a result, my leftover Schillings and Groschen have become worthless.
But now the critics of economic and monetary union are being vindicated—what with the crisis in Greece spreading to Spain. In yesterday's Financial Times, David Marsh cites Josef Joffe, then foreign editor of Süddeutsche Zeitung, who at the time wrote, "Never in the history of democracy have so few debated so little about so momentous a transformation in the lives of men and women." Marsh points out Joffe's warnings were originally published in the New York Review of Books and "appeared in an abridged German translation in the Süddeutsche Zeitung more than a month later, unobtrusively buried in a weekend supplement."
Alarmingly, writes Marsh:
Hard to imagine any politician, really, arguing to pass a law in order to understand what's in it.
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