At long last, the politicians are turning against the Euro and the European Union:
“The euro is not in the interests of the Dutch people,” said Geert Wilders, the leader of the right-wing populist party with a sixth of the seats in the Dutch parliament. “We want to be the master of our own house and our own country, so we say yes to the guilder. Bring it on.”
Mr Wilders made his decision after receiving a report by London-based Lombard Street Research concluding that the Netherlands is badly handicapped by euro membership, and that it could cost EMU’s creditor core more than €2.4 trillion to hold monetary union together over the next four years. “If the politicians in The Hague disagree with our report, let them show the guts to hold a referendum. Let the Dutch people decide,” he said.
The Dutch aren’t the only ones. The open challenge from the new Spanish premier is arguably even more serious:
The Spanish rebellion has begun, sooner and more dramatically than I expected.
As many readers will already have seen, Premier Mariano Rajoy has refused point blank to comply with the austerity demands of the European Commission and the European Council (hijacked by Merkozy).
Taking what he called a “sovereign decision”, he simply announced that he intends to ignore the EU deficit target of 4.4pc of GDP for this year, setting his own target of 5.8pc instead (down from 8.5pc in 2011).
In the twenty years or so that I have been following EU affairs closely, I cannot remember such a bold and open act of defiance by any state.
There is no real left-right divide in Europe anymore, as the Europhile-Euroskeptic one is much more significant. While the mainstream parties have long succeeded in their game of taking Europhile positions of varying degrees of enthusiasm – Eurofast vs Euroslow – the parliamentary systems have permitted the development of a continent-wide anti-EU political movement of the sort that the two-party system in the USA tends to preclude.
And eventually, the anti-EU side will win because the iron laws of economics are on their side.