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Democrat Editorial November-December 1998 (Number 33)

Independence and the EURO

by Brian Denny

Symbol opposing the single currency

The high priests of "globalisation" - the corporate pundits that advocate the abolition of any democratic controls over capital as a universal economic vision for the future - are in something of a funk. Just like the Emperor with his "new clothes" the thin veneer of intellectual respectability to their claims are melting away rather more quickly than they were built up.

This globalist public relations crisis may bring some small relief to democrats around the world who have been witnessing the horrific effects of this particular form of fundamentalism which was only measured by the profits made by Western corporations.

In Britain people are asking if it is now "independent" in whose interest is the Bank of England running the economy? If manufacturing must be sacrificed for the sake of "price stability" it must be worth it for someone?

Who benefits?

The main beneficiary is the very corporations that are promoting free market fundamentalism and European economic and monetary union. That eurofanatics have managed to develop the concept that a body made up of faceless, unelected central bankers should be allowed total control over the fiscal policy of 11 European nations taking part in the single currency is, in itself, staggering.

Yet it is the logical step for those who believe that a few thousand champagne-guzzling traders just out of their teens should be allowed to rule and ruin economies around the world.


The idea that any banks are "independent" in order that economics runs some "natural" course is, indeed, a bizarre one.

Even the mighty German Bundesbank itself is not independent. It has an obligation under basic law to support the economic policy of the German government in power. The US Federal Reserve system and its chairman, Alan Greenspan, are not independent in the way European central bankers conceive when running the Euro.

The Federal Reserve Bank is accountable to the Whitehouse, which nominates its members, and to the Congress.

Yet under the terms of the Treaty on European Union (Maastricht) the European Central Bank must be "independent" and any country attempting even influence is liable to be heavily fined by Brussels for "intervening" in matters which effect the economy.

Economic government

Despite this clear commitment to the complete elimination of democracy the new social democratic German finance minister Oskar LaFontaine suggests that the 11 countries tied to the euro will need some form of "economic government." Mr LaFontaine is simply confirming what most democrats already knew - that EMU is a political move towards the creation of a country called Europe.

The 11 have already established the so-called Euro-11 Council to meet during European economic and finance ministers meetings, which will informally monitor the European Central Bank decisions.

A price worth paying

The collapse in confidence in hard money orthodoxy at any expense- "a price worth paying" - is a chink of light to democrats which could lead the way to a return to a saner path for economic development which includes human beings in the decision-making process and reflects their aspirations for a prosperous and peaceful world rather than one of unending corporate dictatorship.