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The Northerner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 01:03 PM
Original message
Former German leader calls for "United States of Europe"
(Reuters) - Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on Sunday called for the creation of a "United States of Europe," saying the bloc needed a common government to avoid future economic crises.

Schroeder, a Social Democrat who ran the country from 1998 to 2005, said in an interview with Der Spiegel that European Union leaders were wrong to expect the euro to drive the bloc on its own.

"The current crisis makes it relentlessly clear that we cannot have a common currency zone without a common fiscal, economic and social policy," Schroeder said.

He added: "We will have to give up national sovereignty."

"From the European Commission, we should make a government which would be supervised by the European Parliament. And that means the United States of Europe."

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/04/us-germany-eu...
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. Very doubtful that will happen
Way way to many nationalistic groups and others nursing old slights and wounds.
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
2. It's more likely that the EU will decay and the Eurozone will break up
Possibly the old core countries of the Common Market (France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemboug) and a few additions like Finland, Estonia, Austria, Slovenia will form a new entity with a stronger central government and common fiscal policies and currency.

Cyprus, Greece, Southern Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland and the non-Eurozone countries are not a good fit.
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Hawkowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. Don't see that happening soon.
I think it is much more likely that we see a collapse of the Euro and a breakup up of the European Community into North and South zones. With unification, Germany is a new nation and very unlikely to give up their self determination merely to bail out their southern European neighbors.
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DFW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
4. The Romanians and Greeks might like it, but the Germans won't
The whole idea behind opening up the EU eastward was to help big corporations, not people.

Once Eastern Europe was part of the border-free, customs-free EU, big companies in rich countries
like Germany have been closing down (or not building at all) factories and firing (or not hiring)
workers in favor of building factories in low-cost Eastern European countries.

In my area of Germany, the Nokia plant in Bochum was shut down, and they relocated to Romania. One
third the cost, what was for Nokia not to like? Well, for one thing, the quality of their products
went to hell, as the know-how to build a quality product did not come with their savings. They suddenly
were stuck with a line of shitty cell phones that all needed costly replacement. But Nokia figured it
was cheaper to redo their Romanian factory than re-open the German one, so Germany is screwed.

The whole "give up national sovereignty" line is a "transfer it to multinational corporations" policy,
and most western Europeans understand this.

Big industry thinks it's just fine, the people do not.

"Let your tax base migrate eastward so big industry can profit" is not the best line with which to try
to generate support for a powerful, centralized European government.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. In reading your post I see a lot of similarity to what we in the USA
have been going through in the last 30 years. I agree that a US of Europe is not a good idea and above all the exporting of jobs to ANY other country is definitely bad. What was Schroeder like when he was leading your nation in his term? I realize that he is speaking about saving the EU but I think he is forgetting about the individual nations and their economies. What effect would the breakup of the EU and the lose of the Euro have on Europe?
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DFW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. I don't see a break-up of the EU
I think the bureaucracies will win out over the individual rights, and organized crime
will become entrenched, even more than it has in the States, as law enforcement is fractured.

Schrder was a bon vivant chancellor who led an uneasy coalition with the Greens, who have
matured greatly since then, just as the SPD has atrophied. The Greens seem to be the way of
Germany's future at this time. By the way, Germany is not my nation, just my wife's nation. I
remain a citizen of the USA. Schrder saw the writing on the wall while he was chancellor,
and cozied up to Russian oil interests, with whom he has made a fortune since returning to
private life.

The lives of individuals are fast being subjugated to the interests of bureaucracies and big
corporations. The bureaucracies in Europe are inefficient and extremely user-unfriendly.
They are as much there for self-perpetuation as anything else. This does not change in the
slightest, whether under a conservative government or a leftist one. French citizens rail
about Sarkozy, but they screamed just as loudly when the Socialists under Mitterand sent
teams of inexperienced "auditors" to terrorize small businesses, looking to extract any
amount of supplemental tax money they could. I was there for that (my French is near fluent),
and sometimes you would have thought it was the Nazi occupation. I couldn't believe my
ears.

I don't see the Euro fading soon, though some countries may have to pull out. With the Euro,
Greece and Portugal can't inflate their way out of debt any more, and they are suffering the
consequences. The EU will also remain, though I fear the western countries would rather let their
citizens suffer rather than re-introduce border restrictions for the east. For the first time
in 30 years, I am considering installing a security system in my German house, especially as
my wife is there alone so much. The cops are overwhelmed, and the courts let crooks from
Eastern Europe back on the street within hours of arrest. They break into houses in the
middle of the night with virtual impunity. As the west is not used to this, they don't know
how to deal with it.

Schrder never had to deal with an EU that included places like Bulgaria and Romania. I'll bet Merkel
now wishes she didn't either.
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. Wasn't the whole idea behind the EU
to help big corporations, not people? Basically to set up a free trade zone like NAFTA? I could be wrong.

I liked Europe just fine the old way. But then I'm not a corporation endlessly looking for new and better ways to pocket another billion or two. :)
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DFW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. The original EU was just a few nations
The EEC, or so-called "Common Market," was designed to facilitate commerce between nations of
relatively equal economic standing. There were six countries, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium,
Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Expanding to include the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Austria
made sense, too, as they were also on a relatively equal economic footing. There was commerce
among them, but little job bleeding. It wasn't a free-trade zone in the beginning, but more of
a "facilitated" trade zone, and all borders were intact.

I must say that I do love the open borders between Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, etc. But
letting any Romanian, Bulgarian or (soon) Serb into the west for any activity they want for as
long as they want is folly. Even Americans are restricted to 90 days maximum out of 180 unless
you have a visa that permits you to stay longer, and they are not granted lightly.
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
5. I'd be OK it it were a
United SOCIALIST States of Europe. :) The dream of Lenin and Trotsky would be fulfilled. A century later, but still.....
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newfie11 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I would like that . nt
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
8. So what is the language and common culture going to
be, German? The only reason the USA works is because we have adopted the English language, customs and law structure as our universal common ground in spite of the variety of ethnicities Americans are comprised of. I can't see that happening in Europe with the sharp language and cultural divides among the Europeans. I mean will the French or Greeks or Italians or any other of the different cultures and language agree to just one?
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. A nation or political entity does not have to have a common language or culture. The NAU will not
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ibegurpard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
9. why?
we're not doing so well over here
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
10. Tone-deaf idiot.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
14. Fascinating idea
With the US as model, since the states still have powers.

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