The seriously fascinating opening to a European Union report


We find ourselves near helpless with laughter at this opening to the latest European Union report. It's the one about how the eurozone should be deeper, have a common treasury and so on. And it opens with this:

The euro is a successful and stable currency. It is shared by 19 EU Member States and more than 330 million citizens. It has provided its members with price stability and shielded them against external instability. Despite the recent crisis, it remains the second most important currency in the world, with a share of almost a quarter of global foreign exchange reserves, and with almost sixty countries and territories around the world either directly or indirectly pegging their currency to it.

Europe is emerging from the worst financial and economic crisis in seven decades.

At least one of us around here is known to be deeply eurosceptic, but even given that isn't this just the most delightful piece of political prose?

For there's not a single economist who wouldn't add a "therefore" to the beginning of that second paragraph. Yes, the recession was not caused by the euro itself, but the existence of the euro most certainly made it worse than it would otherwise have been. As that same single currency made the boom beforehand even more frenzied. And then the actual monetary policies followed made matters even worse: the ECB was still raising interest rates when unemployment was soaring past 20% and more in some countries.

We can't help thinking that, well, observe the following:

This report has been prepared by the President of the European Commission, in close cooperation with the President of the Euro Summit, the President of the Eurogroup, the President of the European Central Bank, and the President of the European Parliament.

.... This report reflects the personal deliberations and discussions of the five Presidents.

Five presidents might be four or more too many for an organisation but leave that aside. But do we really desire the governance of an entire continent to be in the hands of those who could violate Poe's Law so grievously?