Commentary – Germans Have No Choice But to Pay: Wadhwa … So at last he speaks up! Maybe appropriately so in Aachen, where Charlemagne first formulated his vision of a united Europe twelve hundred years ago. Ok, ok, ol´Charly AD circa 800 had quite a different kind of Europe in mind than Jean-Claude AD 2011. If memory serves me right, he gave the peoples of Europe – especially the belligerent Saxons – a very straight choice about embracing Christianity and accepting his vision of a united Europe: "Convert or die". Literally. Heads were rolling for the unconvinced. And fast. I wonder whether modern-day euro politicians would sometimes wish they had such rough-and-ready policy accelerators at their disposal. – UK Telegraph
Dominant Social Theme: EU forever … Long may it reign. Reporters are allowed to comment.
Free-Market Analysis: This is a classic mainstream media "meme," a purposeful celebration of European centralization from the CNBC Europe Reporter Silvia Wadhwa. But from our point of view, it's actually a bit strange that Ms. Wadhwa is allowed such unfettered access to speak her mind, given the mainstream media obsession with being "unbiased.' But Ms. Wadhwa seems to have quite a formidable reputation. Her CNBC bio (where she is listed as an anchor) is as follows:
Silvia Wadhwa reports for CNBC from Frankfurt. She regularly reports for programmes including Squawk Box Europe, Worldwide Exchange, European Closing Bell as well as the channel's US programming. Silvia is one of the best known financial journalists in Germany. She has covered the Frankfurt markets and the German economy for top news organisations including Reuters and Germany business daily Handelsblatt. Silvia joined CNBC Europe in 1998.
She is certainly a good and precise writer, and a humorous one as well. But the content of this editorial is unflinchingly pro-EU in a most emphatic way. Even given CNBC's apparent penchant for allowing its "talking heads" to speak their minds, it still comes across almost like some kind of political declaration rather than an normal opinion piece. In that sense it is unusual.
In fact, we've never seen anything quite like it. She seems to have begun these editorials in April, and her previous one was entitled, "Here's Why Nobody Will Break Out of the Euro." That's a fairly declarative statement! Apparently her brief is all about defending the euro and the EU. But, still, she's an active reporter and anchor. A regular gig as an opinion-maker and editorialist is a lot different than that. It's a kind of double-duty that used to be frowned upon. Not anymore, apparently.
She begins with the excerpt above (postulating that the EU's bureaucrats would be more efficient if they could cut off head). She then discusses Jean-Claude Trichet's speech accepting his "Karlspreis" award (the "Citizens' prize for distinguished service on behalf of European unification"), which she calls a "bold and visionary one. Charlemagne might have benevolently nodded from afar."
She claims that despite its eloquence, it brought "sniggers" from Euroskeptics, and yet these skeptics and naysayers, she writes, have simply not understood yet that "there is no choice! None. Nix. Nada. Rien." She continues: "For Europe, the EU and first of all the euro zone the alternative is very simply: Unite or die! And … that's a motto Charles-Karl AD 800 understood only too well! Europeans Are Pioneers."
This a most eloquent and firm statement. But Wadhwa has only just begun. "Here's Jean-Claude AD 2011, she writes, and then quotes some of his actual speech on receiving the Charlemagne Award including the following "bombshell:" … "'This (the union of sovereign states) will naturally call for a very important change of the Treaty (or Rome) and will have consequences in all of the Union's responsibilities.' Hold your breath! Here comes: 'In this Union of tomorrow, or of the day after tomorrow, would it be too bold …. to envisage a ministry of finance of the Union?' Mais oui, Jean-Claude! It would be too bold. Far too bold. But would it not be logical, nay, consequent and ultimately to envisage a single ministry of finance at least for the euro zone, if not for the whole Union?"
Wadhwa is not content merely with quoting Jean-Claude. She wants to make a point. Like him, Wadhwa is convinced that the EU must turn into a United States of Europe complete with an overarching and powerful federal government. "Beyond all the emergency measures and last-minute rescue packages to bail out the Greeces, Portugals and Irelands, surely there should be, MUST be a new architecture for this euro zone. An architecture that at least fixes some of the system-inherent flaws …"
She is convinced this can only mean closer "fiscal coordination." Her interpretation of fiscal coordination, she makes clear, is no wishy-washy version either. "Let each individual budget be presented to the Eurogroup Finance Ministers or Heads of State Meeting and [let each] take home only what has been approved by the council." This she explains is what is REALLY needed to move the "euro ship" along. What's the likely outcome? Nothing so grand, she postulates, as a sudden federalization. It will be much slower and sloppier than that. The Eurozone will continue only to "muddle through." Still, that's not so terrible in her view as the EU has grown and expanded via the process of "muddling through."
She ends the article provocatively. "Why else would countries line up to join this European Union or indeed the euro zone?" she queries. "And as to the very basic knee-jerk resentment about handing over sovereignties from the respective national capitals to Brussels and the EU: Wake up and smell the coffee, folks! Whether you are just inside the EU or inside the euro – have a closer look at how much of your national legislation is decided or bound by Brussels and then have another look about how much of your budgets are bound by Brussels. Answer: MORE than you think. Much more."
There it is. The EU is ALREADY turning into a United States of Europe and Wadhwa is pleased to celebrate it. We were pleased to see that those who left feedback were not so enamored. ROXNeutrino5 writes "Oh my gosh, where to begin: 1. Charlemagne's empire collapsed after his death. The Euro empire will be no different. It becomes impossible to efficiently administer countries beyond a certain size. That's why big centralized nations (or unions) always collapse…eventually. They strangle themselves under their own bureaucratic heft. 2. Political elites, just like everyone, have an agenda. Their agenda is to gain more power by centralization … 3. "Muddling through" looks more and more like 'slow decline prior to collapse' with each passing day …"
Coolgunz writes "Nice, interesting, and well written article. But I disagree with the eventual outcome. The German citizens are not obligated to remain in the Eurozone, endlessly supporting periphery countries in some sort of quasiwelfare state. Neither should the Euro-clowns 'muddle along' until the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. That's a recipe for disaster! Why shouldn't Europe (especially Germany) accept reality now? It isn't going to work. Period. The German people should demand a withdrawal from the Eurozone!"
There are numerous other comments of a skeptical nature, but perhaps it's besides the point. Wadhwa's brief is to be provocative and declarative and she does it well. But it is surely in contravention to the dominant social theme that the mainstream media has been cultivating for decades. News practitioners were supposed to be unbiased, holding no opinions. We would understand this better if Wadhwa were commenting on women's issues or sports or something. But she is writing very opinionated articles on her own BEAT.
It's a little strange. A brave, new frontier, as it were. Heck, there are senior writers and editors (especially in the American mainstream press) that still make such a fetish of being without opinions that they won't VOTE. And it's true of Britain as well as America. The BBC, one of the most biased outfits on the planet, constantly represents itself as an fervently unbiased arbiter.
Is the Anglo-American elite redesigning the narrative, generally? Suddenly, a few years ago, torture became part of jurisprudence. There were on-air debates over its applicability! In the US Congress, currently, there is a bill pending that would apparently allow the US government to label anyone a terrorist (citizen or not) who criticizes the government and thus undermines the war on terror. Such a person would be eligible for unlimited detention without charge.
Is it part of a deliberate coarsening of culture? Lady Gaga presents videos with obvious Illuminati symbolism. Israel's soldiers shoot unarmed Palestinian protestors and even arrest and interrogate children. Then there's the use of live ammunition and even dum-dum bullets in Bahrain to halt peaceful protests. Heck, what about the unapologetic ease with which the Anglo-American elites maneuver the Anglosphere into one war after another. And the checkpoints that are springing up in America; Homeland Security's unapologetic groping; Britain's surge of public video cameras to follow citizens' every move. On and on.
Within this context the Wadhwa article is no big deal; it's well done and she's witty and educated commentator. And of course, we never believed for a moment that the mainstream media was unbiased. It's very obviously in service of elite memes and positioned to help create world government. Yet none of this was ever acknowledged. Wadhwa, for instance, is not primarily an editorialist from what we can tell; she is a reporter and anchor. We even went and looked at some of her CNBC videos and she's presenting herself as a news correspondent, reporting on the EU. It seems a bit … off. Times are changing.
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