Against the backdrop of Europe's sovereign debt, the European Union has been manipulating the crisis to strengthen its grip over the continent. As a result, a number of strong and previously independent nations have lost the last vestiges of their economic sovereignty. In addition, plans about the creation of a banking union have gone up in smoke as well.
The European Union is now looking to complete the coup in broad daylight with the help of Germany and France.
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The first move was to prep the masses. In an article published in The Guardian, Emmanuel Macron, France's Minister of the Economy, and Sigmar Gabriel, the German Vice-Chancellor, outlined the broad strokes of the plan, calling for greater fiscal and social harmonization in the Eurozone while conceding that other EU countries like Britain should be allowed to settle for a less integrated Union based on the single market - at least temporarily:
Our common goal is to render it unthinkable for any country in pursuit of its national interest to consider a future without Europe (meaning, one assumes the EU) - or within a lesser union.
"The euro was built on a Franco-German understanding but also on a typically European compromise," they write. "This gives France and Germany a particular responsibility to straighten what is crooked" - an eminently fitting phrase.
"A new,staged process of convergence is needed," the authors add. This would involve not only structural reforms (labor, business and the environment) and institutional reforms (functioning of economic governance) but also social and tax convergence - all in the name of addressing the "critical flaws in the architecture of monetary union."
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What Macron and Gabriel fail to mention is that those same critical flaws were an intended part of the euro's design from the get-go. The goal was always to crush national sovereignty - and more specifically monetary sovereignty - as a vital stepping stone to attain full-on political union, as the German Prime Minister Joschka Fischer publicly admitted just days after the introduction of the euro in 1999:
The introduction of a common currency is not primarily an economic, but rather a sovereign and thus eminently political act...political union must be our lodestar from now on: it is the logical follow-on from Economic and Monetary Union.
In other words, while euroskeptics in the UK and elsewhere were publicly ridiculed for daring to even suggest that the European project might pose a threat to national sovereignty, European heads of state were publicly - indeed proudly - conceding as much. As Patrick Allen writes, Machiavelli himself would have been proud of the euro's founding fathers. "They pushed through a policy against considerable opposition aimed at achieving a result that was not about economic union."