Federation Light: a Martian’s view of the European Union (part 1)


In what will probably end up being the longest review of anything in history, it’s more than 4 years now that the European Union is reviewing its budget. It all began in December 2005, when the European Council asked the Commission to undertake such a review. On 12 September 2007, the European Commission dutifully launched a public consultation on the issue that lasted about a year.2 But a final document on its part, originally foreseen for the spring of 2009, is not yet public at the time of this writing (spring 2010).
The reason why the reform of the EU budget is such a thorny issue is clear to all. Taxes are the key prerogative of any legitimate government and the least likely to be surrendered. Legitimacy – the legitimacy Europeans bestow on the EU – is thus the issue looming large on the revenue side of the budget debate.
Take expenditures and another fundamental question emerges: what for? What are the public goods that are best provided at the EU level of government? What is the EU supposed to do? What is the EU supposed to be? A regulating authority? An international organization? A federation? The hybrid that it is today?
In following the EU budget debate, I was more interested in this kind of questions than on its bookkeeping technicalities, however important these may be. I had found encouragement in a cursory observation made by Iain Begg in 2007: “A Martian starting with a blank sheet of paper would be unlikely to write down Common Agricultural Policy and cohesion as the most vital components of an EU budget for the 2010s”3 – CAP and cohesion make up more than ¾ of the EU budget.
Come 2010 and all that happened in the meantime has definitively persuaded me that if there ever was a time to look at the EU as “a Martian starting with a blank sheet of paper”, this is it.
On 12 June 2008, a referendum in Ireland blocked ratification of the Lisbon treaty, the watered down version of the Constitutional treaty, killed in its turn in mid-2005 by the French and Dutch electorates. It took a re-run in Ireland on 2 October 2009 to remove this hurdle – the biggest but by no means the only one – to the entry into force of the treaty, which finally took place on 1 December 2009.
The road from (the) Nice (version of the Treaty) to Lisbon was so long and bumpy as to definitively destroy, in all likelihood, the usual machinery for incremental changes to the EU institutional framework.
There seems to be a broad consensus that treaty fatigue is now such that changes – small or big, incremental or revolutionary – won’t be forthcoming for a number of years and will be very controversial to arrive at. But does this not amount to say that political realism is in a lull? – even that won’t bring about any change for a number of years. We thus have a window of opportunity to raise afresh the fundamental questions about the EU recalled above. Which is precisely what this paper intends to do.
Also, in the fall of 2008, a global financial and economic crisis that had been brewing for over a year exploded in all its enormous proportions, posing to the EU the gravest challenges since its creation. First, state aid measures meant to prop up the car and banking industries threatened the internal market. And then widening yield spreads among Euro-zone sovereign debt bonds threatened monetary union.
Effectively tackling these challenges also raises a fundamental question of finality, scope, and raison d’être of the EU: can the internal market and monetary union survive in the long run without a political union – i.e. the creation of a European Federation – bringing about a European Treasury?
Finally, on 30 June 2009, the German constitutional court produced a verdict that, while giving a conditional green light to German ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, pointed out that member states are the true “masters of the treaty”. According to the court, EU institutions only administer competences delegated to them by member states in certain areas. Member states are therefore the only source of the EU legitimacy and the EU does not possess the competence of attributing to itself new competences.
Germany, itself a federal state, has traditionally been the main political engine of European integration via a step-by-step, so-called functionalist approach – the idea that an ever closer (economic) union would lead to Europe’s political union in the form of a federation.
Thus the German verdict – especially in conjunction with the repeated negative results of public referenda on Treaty changes in France, the Netherlands, and Ireland – may have put an end to the functionalist approach, to the process sneered at by Euro-sceptics as “integration by stealth”.
It may very well be that from now on any major transfer of sovereignty from member states to the Union will require more than the simple ratification of an international treaty – but rather major constitutional changes in several member states, including of course Germany, long and bitter national debates and further popular consultations.
If this is so, then any future case for further transfers of sovereignty via major treaty changes will have to be stated as clearly and forcefully as possible by the proponents. Inertia won’t do the trick anymore. Thus, we may as well buy time and start debating these big picture, “vision things” all over again right now.
Which is, of course, an additional reason to look at the EU – and its budget – through the eyes of a “Martian starting with a blank sheet of paper”. What this Martian did find in the end is that a European Federation robust enough to weather storms as big as the 2008 financial crisis – and to play on the world scene better than any single member state now does – need not be the “superstate” Euroskeptics fear. On the contrary, the creature would be decidedly light on budget, of a kind that any Anglo-Saxon fiscal conservative would in fact appreciate.
This paper has two parts.4 The first assesses the impact of the financial crisis on the EU. The second part re-thinks with an open mind the functions of governments assigned, respectively, to the European Union and its member states and proceeds to sketch the outlines of a new budget, adequate to the functions of government best left to the EU.
1. The European Union in the financial crisis
At the time of this writing, in early 2010, we are perhaps seeing the first signs of recovery from what is unanimously considered the worst world financial and economic crisis since the great depression in the 1930s.
An event of such magnitude could not fail to have a huge impact on the process of European integration for the very simple reason that this process has been centred since its beginning on the economy.
Take the internal market. It is to this day what truly holds together the different visions of Europe. It is just a step toward an “ever closer union” for Euro-enthusiasts. It is what Europe should be limited to, for Euro-sceptics. Exit the internal market and there is no longer an EU to speak of.
Also, the single most important transfer of sovereignty from member states to the European Community in its history, i.e. monetary union, took place in the economic sphere.
Europe’s arrangement is unique. Adhering states make together the rules that allow goods, services, people and capitals to move and compete freely within the internal market; have these rules enforced by impartial referees of last instance, the European Commission and the Court of Justice; share the same currency, the Euro, backed by a strong, independent, and centralized institution, the European Central Bank.
Joining the Euro is not mandatory. De jure for the two countries, Denmark and the UK, which stipulated an opt-out. De facto for the others: to stay outside it only takes to miss one or more convergence criteria for monetary union – as Sweden has been doing on purpose since 1998.
Fiscal policy – tax and spend – remains a national prerogative, the only constraint being common limits to national public borrowing – public borrowing at Community level is forbidden altogether.
The EU budget, limited to 1% of Europe’s GNP, is basically made up of transfers from member states on the revenue side, and of subsidies to a variety of beneficiaries, plus administrative costs, on the expenditure side.
Outside their economies, and with the limitations just reviewed, Europeans share little. The resulting powers at the EU level – defence, diplomacy, justice – are weak, with a tendency to become stronger the nearer they get to the economic core: the trade dimension of foreign relations, the immigration-labour dimension of justice and home affairs.
Up until mid-2008, this architecture might have satisfied Euro-skeptics and dissatisfied Euro-enthusiasts but both camps certainly found it robust enough – either as a ceiling to, or as a floor for, further integration.
Then, in the last quarter of 2008, the financial crisis exploded bringing with it the sharpest economic contraction of the last eighty years. The crisis opened up profound cracks in this European architecture centred on the economy. We Europeans have suddenly discovered that ours is a fair weather construction, not guaranteed to hold during a storm.
We have perhaps also discovered that political union is not just an optional feature to be added at leisure to an economic union, but a vital prerequisite for the latter continued existence in bad and good times.
 I’ll summarize the cracks now running through the European construction under five headings:

a regulatory asymmetry;

a resurgence of protectionism;

the sovereignty of debt taboo;

the logic of collective action;

external pressure.

A regulatory asymmetry – It has become common place to consider a general weakness in the regulation of financial institutions and products all over the world a major factor explaining the crisis. In Europe, however, this weakness was made more acute by a peculiar feature that, for want of a better term, I’ll call here asymmetry.
There is a geographic-jurisdictional asymmetry, in fact, between the dimensions of Europe’s internal market and the operational scope it grants to financial institutions on the one hand, and the financial regulatory bodies on the other, whose remit is confined within the single member states. Banks can and do operate throughout the Union but are regulated and supervised at the national level.
When the crisis made, in late 2008, financial regulation a glaring problem, the European Commission appointed a group of wise-men, chaired by Jacques de Larosiére, with the task of coming up with reform ideas. On 23 September 2009, the European Commission tabled its legislative proposals to strengthen financial supervision in Europe. One of these is the creation of a European Systemic Risk Board. It will have “only the power of its voice. In good times – commented The Economist – its warnings may well be ignored and during a crisis it may have to hold its tongue for fear of sparking panic”.5
Another Commission proposal, i.e. setting up a European System of Financial Supervisors, is a simple collection (“a network”) of national financial supervisors leaving unclear who is truly in charge. Then financial institutions maintain their peculiar nature: would any EU authority have the power to force a national government to use taxpayer money to bail out a bank?
Thus, an effective system of European financial supervision calls for a European Treasury and a European taxpayer. In fact another and more substantial asymmetry lies behind the regulatory one and this is: who’s the European lender of last resort?
The regulatory asymmetry, however, is not limited to the financial sector. Public utilities are another example where all the market opening efforts done by Brussels over the years have reasonably succeeded in creating (the rules for) a European-wide internal market but remarkably failed in creating a single corresponding European regulator (the rule enforcer). Energy and telecommunications are two fields where member states have steadfastly refused to heed the European Commission’s call to concentrate regulatory power at European level.
Since Community law takes precedence over national legislation, firms can always appeal to the Commission and the Court of Justice against measures taken by national regulators. But this is a different thing from centralizing regulation. The result of this is the persistence of a high degree of market fragmentation along national lines. There still are many different product markets where, from the cosiness of its home base, every national champion strives to become a European champion.
A resurgence of protectionism. Although at the considerable cost, for consumers and enterprises alike, of having to deal with a variety of regulatory bodies throughout the single market, the system works – but only in times of plenty.
Come scarcity and who’s there to grant that European champions will not revert to their cosier role of national champions by giving systematic precedence to their home bases? Governments who made money available to recapitalize banks in the current financial crisis did it with the – sometimes explicit, sometime implicit – understanding that the recipients should then give credit preference to home customers. Couple national preference with state aid and you have killed the internal market.
This is the kind of risks which Europe and its single market have been exposed to during the crisis. They were all too real not only in the financial sector, but also in the car industry.
Taming state aid was certainly made more difficult by the real danger, at the end of 2008, of a financial meltdown on the one hand, and by the political weakness of a College of Commissioners nearing the end of its mandate on the other.
In February 2009, Giuliano Amato and Emma Bonino suggested the creation in Brussels of two task forces, one on banks and the other on the automotive sector, chaired by the European Commission and composed by member states’ special representatives.6 The idea was to try to ride the tide of State aid ex ante, rather than just attempt to stem it ex post – when, in fact, the political profile of certain measures may have become so high as to make them unstoppable.
But as Commissioner Neelie Kroes made clear, the College did not like Amato-Bonino’s idea and it never took off.7
Tariffs are too discredited a tool for us to risk a repetition today of the 1930 Smooth-Hawley act and its consequences. But both international trade and Europe’s internal market have a lot to fear from state aid, protectionism’s main guise in the 21st century.
More generally and on a global scale, in early 2010, the timid recovery begun in the second half of 2009 had not succeeded yet in slowing the protectionist wave triggered by the crisis.8
The sovereignty of debt – Not only does the EC Treaty explicitly forbid bailing out member states of the Monetary Union, but the whole idea behind the stability (and growth) pact – in particular the ceilings to public deficits and debts – is to avoid ever getting near to a public default of any of the member states.
Nonetheless, spreads between sovereign bond yields within the Euro-zone (with respect to the traditional benchmark represented by the German ones), negligible since the launch of the Monetary Union, suddenly jumped up, first in late 2008-early 2009, and then again in early 2010.
It began to look like the realization of a nightmare scenario put forward in 2006 by Simon Tilford, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform in London, in a pamphlet titled“Will the Eurozone crack?”.
According to Tilford’s scenario Italy’s “erosion of external competitiveness continues” and all of a sudden “the financial markets lose confidence that Italy’s position is sustainable, causing debt financing costs to rise sharply”. At this point all hell breaks loose: Italian public opinion turns against the Euro, Italy leaves EMU and devaluates sharply, Portugal and Spain do the same to stay competitive with Italy, France and Germany demand trade barriers against Italian imports and – finally – the single market itself starts unravelling.
Tilford’s script was remarkably prescient but with the character of usual suspect. Both in 2008-2009 and in early 2010, Greek, Portuguese, Spanish and Irish bonds registered a wider spread with respect to Germany’s than Italian ones. Let’s just note in passing that in 2008-2009 the deterioration of the fiscal position of some countries outside the Euro area with a strong financial reputation – such as Sweden, Denmark, and Tilford home country, Britain – was both sharper and more rapid.
The first wave of rumours and talks of a Euro death subsided when the German finance minister, Peer Steinbrück, declared that “The Euro-region treaties don’t foresee any help for insolvent states, but in reality the others would have to rescue those running into difficulty.”9 A few weeks later, Joaquín Almunia, European commissioner for monetary affairs, thus compounded Steinbrück previous statement: “If a crisis emerges in one Euro-zone country, there is a solution before visiting the IMF…It’s not clever to tell you in public the solution. But the solution exists.”10
The same Euro-drama is being played out once again a year later, at the time of this writing. Greece, whose public deficit was 12.7% of GDP in 2009, saw the spread between its bond yield and the Bund’s almost reach the 400 basis points mark in late January 2010.
The same questions thus resurfaced: will Greece and then, who knows, others, be forced to leave monetary union and revert to highly devalued national currencies? Will Germany and other financially strong Euro member states eventually bail out Greece and then, who knows, others, as Steinbrück seemed to imply a year earlier? Will the same European Commission that failed to police Athens’ dodgy accounting (before general elections in October 2009, public deficit was forecast to be 5% of GDP in 2009) be able to monitor the implementation of the Greek plan of fiscal austerity?
What the crisis showed is that the taboos making up the sovereignty of debt – only member states can issue it and they can’t be bailed out – if not broken may break the Euro itself.
The logic of collective action – For the European economies as a group, integrated as they are, growth is a public good in Mancur Olson’s sense.11 If (public) spending is needed to stimulate growth – to provide this particular public good – either it does already exist a pool of common resources (a sizeable EU budget, which is not the case), or all members of the group have to spend in some fair proportion – they have to contribute to the provision of the public good. Otherwise, either some one ends up free riding on the others, or the public good is simply not provided.
Very often outsiders catch the Geist of a situation better than insiders. This is shown in the following quotation of Paul Krugman.
“Europe’s economic and monetary integration has run too far ahead of its political institutions. The economies of Europe’s many nations are almost as tightly linked as the economies of America’s many states — and most of Europe shares a common currency. But unlike America, Europe doesn’t have the kind of continent-wide institutions needed to deal with a continent-wide crisis.
This is a major reason for the lack of fiscal action: there’s no government in a position to take responsibility for the European economy as a whole. What Europe has, instead, are national governments, each of which is reluctant to run up large debts to finance a stimulus that will convey many if not most of its benefits to voters in other countries.”12
A European federal government would include a Treasury, which in its turn would imply a sizable budget to carry out a macroeconomic stabilization function, together with the provision of other public goods – this will be discussed below in more detail.
External pressure – A couple of decades ago, when China, India, Russia were outside the world market economy and Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and others too underdeveloped to count much, it might have been understandable that each European nation, especially the biggest ones, wanted its own seat at whatever table. Today it is becoming increasingly ridiculous and unsustainable.
The solution clearly does not lie in diluting forum after forum – in making of every G-7 a G-20. Who’s going to make room in the UN system – from the Security Council to the Bretton Woods institutions – to the nations quoted above if not Italy, France, the UK and Germany?
These are the obvious candidates not only because, long overtaken in terms of population, they will soon be the same also in terms of GDP. But also because they have an alternative and this is to be collectively represented by the European Union.
The alternative has demonstrated to serve the interests of Europe’s member states better and at the same time to be very much appreciated by non-Europeans, who obviously prefer to deal with one in lieu of several and the effectiveness flowing from it.
World trade is the classical example. But more recently it has been the turn of monetary policy. The European Central Bank has not only acted early (since August 9, 2007), imaginatively and courageously in the financial crisis. But perhaps more importantly has acted as one and the main counterpart to the other Central Banks, from the Federal Reserve to the Bank of Japan.
The first months of the 2008-2009 financial crisis made clear to insiders and outsiders both the importance and the fragility of Europe’s construction.
During these months the Swedes and the Danes and, to a lesser extent, the Britons reconsidered the wisdom of staying outside the Euro – not to mention a bankrupt Iceland applying to become a member of the EU.13
And there was also the shock of those who think that Europe ought to be the internal market and no more at the revelation that the internal market can indeed be undone by a resurgence of protectionism.
An editorial in the Financial Times, published the day after Amato-Bonino’s contribution and partly in response to it, contained some startling observations for a mainstream British newspaper – including the use in passing of the term “federal” in a non disparaging way.
“The success of the EU – wrote the FT – is a result of its hybrid personality: part inter-governmental and part federal. Its traditional glue has been economic integration and the single market. That is what most specifically being assailed in this slide into protectionism: the pooled sovereignty over trade and competition policy, the core competences of the Union. This did not start with the credit crunch. It began 15 years ago with the decision of the EU leaders to draw a line under the era of Jacques Delors – the high watermark of European ambition – and ‘repatriate’ power from Brussels to national capitals. That process has now gone too far.”14
Gideon Rachman, an FT columnist, opened a piece with this sentence: “I am ready to retire as a Euro-sceptic”. Then he went on to say that “Plans for political union in Europe were always crazy. But the four freedoms already established by the EU – free movement of goods, people services and capital – are huge and tangible achievements. It would be terrible to see them rolled back”.
After having mentioned various examples of renewed protectionist rhetoric on the part of several European leaders, Rachman notes that “If Europe starts rolling back the four freedoms, the implications will stretch well beyond economics. Protectionism and nationalism are close cousins.” To conclude thus: “Strangely enough, I now feel a certain protective warmth towards the embattled Eurocrats in their Brussels skyscrapers. This would have been hard to imagine […] but it has finally happened. I love big brother”.15
There is here, I believe, a clear case of cognitive dissonance. Having the internal market and its four freedoms unravel would be a huge political disaster, no less that the return of nationalism – in Europe, theatre of two world wars in the last century! Yet the only insurance against this risk, the only thing capable to solidly lock in the four freedoms – political union – is unthinkable to Rachman, who dubs it “crazy”.
Then there are many other sophisticated EU observers who, even though far from being Euro-skeptics, have come to implicitly accept the prevailing paradigm whereby Europe’s political union is ipso facto unthinkable and the term federation (federal, federalism etc.) unpronounceable.
Often the most logical consequences of well developed lines of reasoning cannot be drawn because they happen to fall in the realm of the unthinkable and/or unpronounceable. Further cases of cognitive dissonance.
So, Daniel Gros, an economist and Brussels insider, faced with the possible financial collapse of much of Eastern Europe, rightly states that “the case-by-case approach at the national level must be abandoned in favour of an ambitious EU-wide approach”. Hence his proposal to set up a “massive European Financial Stability Fund […] involving about 5% of EU GDP or around € 500-700 billion”.16
Now, does at this level of resources still make sense to operate through an ad hoc Fund that must be first set up (remember collective action?), then unwound or frozen at the end of this emergency, then who knows set up again at the next emergency – rather than going straight for a federal budget of around that size, associated to specific EU-level functions of government, including macroeconomic stabilization?
Or take two other economists known to be among the brightest commentators of things European, Jean Pisani-Ferry and André Sapir both at the Bruegel think tank in Brussels. In a brief essay on Europe and the financial crisis they raise many of the points raised here. And toward the end they state in very clear terms that “At the centre of the problem is the absence of a euro-area political body capable of taking appropriate financial and fiscal decisions in difficult times”.
Well, if this is the centre of the problem – and a big problem indeed: a financial and economic catastrophe, the implosion of the internal market, the end of Europe and ultimately the return of nationalism – let’s attack it. Let’s set aside our taboos and our established paradigms. Let’s think out the box and let’s advocate an adequate solution to the problem, i.e. the creation of no less than – to use the very words of Pisani-Ferry and Sapir – “a euro-area political body capable of taking appropriate financial and fiscal decisions in difficult times”. In plain language, a Treasury.
“European Union Treasury” are unutterable words, though, against which stands peremptory the very first sentence of the essay: “The Euro has been, is and willremain a currency without a state”.17
One year later, the crisis is now focused on Greek public finances and the future of the Euro but the terms of the debate have not changed. There are those who feel vindicated in their belief that monetary union was never going to work.18 Those who agree that monetary union is a difficult enterprise without political union, consider the latter unfeasible, but differ on how to cure the Greek disease.19 Those who believe that the crisis can be fixed with economic remedies, ranging from an “economic union”20 (stricter budget coordination among Euro members leading to the harmonization of tax, employment and social security rules), to the proposals already floated the year before, i.e. the creation of a European Monetary Fund or the issuance of Euro-zone bonds.
Again, it seems to me that those who see most clearly through the current Euro predicament are outside observers from the other side of the Atlantic. Thus Paul Krugman: “So the only way out is forward. To make the Euro work, Europe needs to move much further toward political union, so that European nations start to function more like American states”.21 Thus Barry Eichengreen: “If Europe is serious about its monetary union, it will have to get over its past. It needs not just closer economic ties, but also closer political ties […] The Greek crisis could be the Trojan horse that leads Europe toward deeper political integration. One can only hope”.22
Pisany-Ferry and Sapir mention the (French, Dutch and then Irish) referenda as proof that Europe cannot integrate much further of what it already did. Whereas, in my opinion, the negative results of these consultations proved only that the traditional method of European integration – functionalism, “integration by stealth” – has reached its limits.
If there is a case for further European integration, as I believe there is, it needs to be stated clearly and to be robust enough to undergo the harshest tests of democratic scrutiny, including referenda and constitutional reforms where needed. Timidity is of no help in a public debate.
No case can be made, however, if it is considered to belong to the realm of the unthinkable. Giving for granted the impossibility of Europe’s political union at precisely the moment when this union is more needed than ever is so absurd, in my opinion, as to make thinking the unthinkable vastly preferable.
1 This paper is in draft, preliminary, form for further discussions. Comments and remarks are welcome.
2 Communication from the Commission, “Reforming the budget, changing Europe – A public consultation paper in view of the 2008/2009 budget review”, Brussels, 12.9.2007, Sec (2007) 1188 final. With 279 contributions, including 23 from member states’ governments and some from outside the EU, the consultation was a success – at least from a quantitative point of view.
3 Iain Begg, “The 2008/9 EU Budget Review”, EU-Consent EU-Budget Working Paper No. 3, March 2007.
4 It was originally conceived in 2008 with my colleague and friend Mauro Maré as a joint contribution to the consultation on reforming the EU budget. I owe a lot to the many discussions we had on the subject and to Mauro’s knowledge of fiscal matters in general and fiscal federalism in particular. I am of course the sole responsible for any mistake may be contained here.
5 “Divided by a common market”, The Economist, 2 July 2009.
6 See G. Amato and E. Bonino, “How to avoid the ruin of the European market”, Financial Times, February 11, 2009.
7 See N. Kroes, “Do not place Europe’s golden goose in jeopardy”, Financial Times, February 16, 2009.
8 See Simon J. Evenett, “Will stabilisation limit protectionism?”, www.voxeu.org, February 18, 2010.
9 Quoted in A. Evans-Pritchard, “Will Germany deliver on the Faustian bargain that created monetary union?”, The Daily Telegraph, February 23, 2009.
10 Quoted in T. Barber, “Emergency eurozone aid signalled”, Financial Times, March 4, 2009. During the same turn of weeks and months, the idea of a joint EU government debt issuance was repeatedly floated but it got nowhere. The most articulated proposal of this kind came from the financier Gorge Soros. See his “The Eurozone needs a government bond market”, Financial Times, February 18, 2009. Soros reiterated his proposal exactly one year later in order “to refinance, say 75 per cent or the maturing [Greek] debt.” See his “The Euro will face bigger tests than Greece”, Financial Times, 22 February 2010.
11 See his The Logic of Collective Action (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1965).
12 P. Krugman, “A contintent adrift”, International Herald Tribune, March 16, 2009.
13 See J. Dempsey, “On the Continent, a hard life for euro outsiders”, International Herald Tribune, February 18, 2009.
14 “Protectionism could sink the EU”, Financial Times, February 12, 2009.
15 G. Rachman, “Eurosceptisism is yesterday’s creed”, Financial Times, March 3, 2009.
16 D. Gros, “Collapse in Eastern Europe? The rationale for a European Financial Stability”, www.voxeu.org, February 25, 2009.
17 J. Pisani-Ferry and A. Sapir, “Weathering the storm”, Bruegel Policy Contribution, 2009/03, March 2009, available at www.bruegel.org. Emphasis added.
18 See Samuel Brittan, “Greek light on an over-hasty project”, Financial Times, 19 February 2010.
19 See the two former ECB colleagues, Otmar Issing, who thinks Greece should not be bailed out (“A Greek bail-out would be a disaster for Europe”, Financial Times, 16 February 2010) and Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, who thinks it should (“Athens must not be left to stand alone”, Financial Times, 19 February 2010).
20 See Édouard Balladur, “Mieux gouverner l’Europe”, Le Figaro, 17 February 2010.
21 “The making of a euromess”, International Herald Tribune, 16 February 2010.
22 “Europe’s Trojan Horse”, www.project-syndicate.org, 15 February 2010.