Simon Heffer sees the end of both in sight:
The failure of the euro will signify the failure of the European ideal, and that is why eurocrats fight so hard for it. What should have been a club of free-trading nations over-reached itself, and sought to unite people with little or no common culture, politics, language or economic history into one coherent federation. It could never work. The generation that thought it could is either dead, senile or (in Chris Patten’s case) governing the BBC. The dream is over: it only remains to be seen how much more German money will be squandered before everyone finally admits it.
Countries who have bail-outs must survive for years afterwards on austerity measures. They will never have the industrial power of a Britain or France, let alone a Germany, so to stay in such a strong currency means permanent privation. Portugal will soon have an election, but so what? Ireland just had one, and it was irrelevant who won. The most important thing a country has – the right to set its own economic policy – was forfeited by the Irish, and the Portuguese, when they joined the euro. All aggrieved people in those countries can do if they want a different policy is write to Frankfurt and ask politely – or riot. And I fear there will much more of the latter before this charade comes to its inevitable end.
Some of us in Britain have resisted the EU in all its manifestations because what is politely called “loss of sovereignty” actually means “loss of democratic rights”. Our votes as electors become pointless. As the eurocrats become more desperate to hold things together, more and more unreasonable demands will be made upon us – whether we are in the euro or not. That is the nature of dictatorships such as the EU. We do not vote for the commissioners who initiate, on the advice of their unelected advisers, the policies they inflict upon us. Napoleon and Hitler tried to unite Europe, but neither did so with the pretence of democracy. As Europe’s currency fails, and a last desperate attempt is made to save it, the price will be our freedom.
The comparison of the EU to Napoleon and Hitler is astute, because the only significant difference is that the EU has used banks to subvert national sovereignty rather than ranks and tanks. And like Napoleon and Hitler, their efforts will ultimately go for naught after a brief period wherein it looked as if they had been successful.