STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Eurocrats' 'Immoveable Rigor' Starts to Crack?
By Staff News & Analysis - May 24, 2013

Europe needs Britain, says ECB president Mario Draghi … Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, has issued a plea for a more co-operative Britain to stay in Europe. – UK Telegraph

Dominant Social Theme: Europe will do what we tell it to do.

Free-Market Analysis: We have noticed recently that the top Eurocrats seem a bit more frazzled than usual. We wrote about a recent article in Reuters – a pro-EUwire service – and noted that the editorial was fairly negative about EU prospects.

In fact, the thrust of the editorial was that confidence in a greater EU was shattered and that the EU would have to take small, consistent steps to take it back. But these steps would have to occur over years, not months.

Is Reuters Panicking Over EU?

And now comes the influential Mario Draghi to sound a note of conciliation insofar as the British are concerned. Not long ago, Brussels was dismissive of Britain and its financial center, suggesting that British financiers would be the losers if ties were cut with the EU.

Perhaps recent victories of libertarian UKIP have swayed some minds in Europe over Britain's position and the likelihood that its leaders are bound to be influenced by a grassroots movement to withdraw from the EU.

So far, British pols have slid past the controversy by promising referendums that have never materialized. Even current prime minister David Cameron has utilized this dodge, but now the game is being called. With UKIP victories has come a change in the Tory Party itself. Many traditional conservatives, heartened by UKIP, are more willing to resist the encroaching European tide. The pressure for a legitimate up or down vote on the EU project is building.

Perhaps it was the UKIP victories that Draghi was responding to, or perhaps it was merely a sense that the Tory Party was increasingly riven by a controversy that has not subsided even after decades.

Here's more from the article:

With the political row over Europe escalating in the UK, Mr Draghi suggested a British exit would be bad for both sides. "What I can say is that Europe needs a more European UK as much as the UK needs a more British Europe," he said in words that echoed German Chancellor Angela Merkel's claim earlier this year that Britain is a vital member of the EU.

Speaking at a City of London event, he also called on European countries to redouble efforts to agree the terms of a banking union, insisting it would benefit "all EU members" including the UK.

Britain was among those to have raised concerns about proposals this month, while the perceived threat to the City from more centralised regulation has strengthened the eurosceptics' hand. George Osborne warned that plans to extend protection to all depositors – including those above the £85,000 insured limit – could create "perverse incentives" in markets. He also objected to a pre-funded bail-out fund that could cost the UK £12bn.

The recommendations were central to an EU-wide resolution scheme that Mr Draghi said was "imperative" to creating a functioning banking union. The scheme would establish a mechanism to rescue or shut down big banks with minimal impact on taxpayers.

Draghi and other Eurocrats are obviously fighting on several fronts now. German voters are restive; PIGS citizens have taken to the streets and most importantly from a structural perspective, the resistance is building political momentum. Anti-EU sentiment is translating into legislative muscle.

Add to this the intractable issue of damaged banks and potential sovereign default and you have a Brussels that is now less apt to demand and perhaps more apt to conciliate.

Perhaps these are more poses, or perhaps something is really changing. Perhaps those at the top have become sincerely worried about the viability of the project and realized that public sentiment is no longer to be counted on.

After Thoughts

Time will tell, but these are encouraging signs for those who believe an autocratic and authoritarian European Empire is not a good idea.

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