Europe is on the cusp of change. An EU heads-of-state summit Dec. 16 launched a process aimed to save the common European currency. If successful,
this process would be the most significant step toward creating a singular European power since the creation of the European Union itself in 1992 ?Çö that is, if it doesn't destroy the euro first.
Envisioned by the EU Treaty on Monetary Union, the common currency, the euro, has suffered from two core problems during its decade-long existence: the lack of a parallel political union and the issue of debt. Many in the financial world believe that what is required for a viable currency is a fiscal union that has taxation power ?Çö and that is indeed needed. But that misses the larger point of who would be in charge of the fiscal union. Taxation and appropriation ?Çö who pays how much to whom ?Çö are essentially political acts. One cannot have a centralized fiscal authority without first having a centralized political/military authority capable of imposing and enforcing its will. Greeks are not going to implement a German-designed tax and appropriations system simply because Berlin thinks it?ÇÖs a good idea. As much as financiers might like to believe, the checkbook is not the ultimate power in the galaxy. The ultimate power comes from the law backed by a gun. Read more ??