Judging by the commentary, there has been a colossal misunderstanding around the world of what has just has happened in Germany. The significance of yesterday’s vote by the Bundestag to make the EU’s €440bn rescue fund (EFSF) more flexible is not that the outcome was a "Yes".I am not familiar enough with German politics to pass judgement on Pritchard's view. All I know is that the Bundestag voted for one more round of Greek bailoiut money. That's the way it's been going, round by round. I'm sure that most German's are tired of being played for saps. The question is do they have what it takes to ring in their leaders and stop them from going in a direction the German people don't want to go. That is will the German people really be able to stop even more bailouts for the PIIGS.
This assent was a foregone conclusion, given the backing of the opposition Social Democrats and Greens. In any case, the vote merely ratifies the EU deal reached more than two months ago – itself too little, too late, rendered largely worthless by very fast-moving events.
The significance is entirely the opposite. The furious debate over the erosion of German fiscal sovereignty and democracy – as well as the escalating costs of the EU rescue machinery – has made it absolutely clear that the Bundestag will not prop up the ruins of monetary union for much longer.
Horst Seehofer, the leader of Bavaria’s Social Christians, said his party would go "this far, and no further"...
This great eruption of feeling in Germany has been the transforming political and strategic fact of Europe over the summer. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is no doubt scrambling around trying to find some formula to breach his pledge that there is no secret plan to leverage the EFSF into the stratosphere.
He will try to pretend that this is not a flagrant double-cross. But his scheming with the French is largely irrelevant at this point. Bigger events are rolling over him. If he really thinks he can dupe the Bundestag yet again, he is out of his mind. And will soon be out of office.
As Bundestag president Norbert Lammert said yesterday, lawmakers had a nasty feeling that they had been "bounced" into backing far-reaching demands. This can never be allowed to happen again. He warned too that Germany's legislature would not give up its fiscal sovereignty to any EU body.
In a sense, the Bundestag vote was much like the ruling by the Constitutional Court earlier this month. It too said "Yes" to the bail-out machinery, but that was not relevant fact. What mattered was the Court’s implicit warning that Germany had reached the outer boundaries of EU integration, that German democracy is under threat, and its explicit warning that the Bundestag’s fiscal powers could not be alienated to Brussels...
Repeat after me:
THERE WILL BE NO FISCAL UNION.
THERE WILL BE NO EUROBONDS.
THERE WILL BE NO DEBT POOL.
THERE WILL BE NO EU TREASURY.
THERE WILL BE NO FISCAL TRANSFERS IN PERPETUITY.
THERE WILL BE A STABILITY UNION – OR NO MONETARY UNION.
Get used to it. This is the political reality of Europe, since nothing of importance can be done without Germany. All else is wishful thinking, clutching at straws, and evasion. If this means the euro will shed some members or blow apart – as it almost certainly does – then the rest of the world must prepare for the day.
Perhaps the solution will be that the Germans go back to the d-mark, and the ECB without the obstruction of the Germans prints euros as though the entire non-German EZ was an olive republic.