My good friend, co-author and interlocutor extraordinaire, Joseph Halevi, spends half the year in a small town on the shores of an Italian lake. Upon hearing of the latest Treaty changes to which the euro 17 nations agreed today, he sent me the following message. I can think of no better or more analytically astute comment on the latest news from Europe. Enjoy!
The new Euro-17 Club is like the small town on the shores of the lake that I spend many of my days. The owner of the main café is also the main force in the local association of shopkeepers. He fights, successfully, against any proposal to open new posh cafés allowing only the lesser ones to exist. Hence he gets the best clientele. Many, if not most, come from Rome. Thus he runs a surplus with both his town residents and Rome. Importantly, he does not have to care about their finances. But the trick that makes his enterprise work consists in that the clients are external to him and he does not determine their source of income.
Germany, on the other hand, wants to be like the owner of that café. Yet it also determines a great percentage of the income of the clients. For this reason, and unlike the little town of my lakeshore, the new Euro-17 area is an unsustainable club.