Was this predictable? Yes, of course it was. For example, by all who warned a one-size-fits-all currency would be a disaster for weaker economies. Christopher Booker, for one. Can anything stop it? Well, Germany leaving the EU and revaluing its currency would be a good start. But that ain't going to happen. Meanwhile, politicians and bureaucrats together claim that the euro crisis is well over and everything is heading in the right direction. It isn't. As The Economist says this week, they're fooling themselves, if no one else, and "sleepwalking through an economic wasteland". And the reason for inactivity is a lack of will to do even the things already agreed to be vital, such as a true banking union. Which is comforting.
Will things get any better quickly? I rather doubt it. Is it any wonder that "Across Europe voters have grown resentful of both their own politicians and the EU". But will there be revolts? I rather doubt that too. So, it's a recipe for the wilfully blind leading the wilfully docile.
Has anything like this ever happened in history before? Possibly in Germany during the Weimar Republic and then under the National Socialists. And look where that got us. As for the immediate future, as The Economist puts it- Europe will be under a shadow for years to come. The cost will be measured in disillusion, blighted communities and wasted lives. Unlike Japan, though, the euro zone is not cohesive. For as long as stagnation and recession tear at democracy, the euro zone risks a fatal popular rejection. If the sleepwalkers care about their currency and their people, they need to wake up. My guess is they will sleep on. Cushioned by their obscene salaries and expense accounts. See here for the full article.
Back in the prosaic, humdrum diurnal struggle, I tried today to get a new Terra email address, following their decision to cancel all existing addresses. This should have been a doddle but, in fact, there were problems at every single stage of the process. Never more so than when I was asked to give the country I was in. The options list would only give me ten countries, all beginning with A. Which is how I came to be a resident of Antarctica. Don't believe me? Well, see here:-
Felicitaciones. Tu usuario fue creado con:
nombre completo: Colin Davies
FIFA have announced that Gibraltar is to have full international status, though it's not clear if they'll ever play against Spain or the Balkan state which voted against this. Meanwhile, here in Spain, the development has led to a lunatic knee-jerk response from those of the far right for whom this is the beginning of the end of the civilised world. The same people who can, at the drop of a hat, give you pages and pages of reasons why Ceuta and Melilla are not Spanish colonies but 'enclaves' and an integral part of Spain. And who visit Franco's grave on every anniversary of his belated death. Nutters all.
The most popular names for dogs in Spain are Luna (Beauty), Linda, Laika, Rocky, Toby; Chispa (Spark), Kira, Lola, Canela(Cinnamon!) and Chiqui(Cheeky, of course). And the most popular breed is said to be 'mongrel'. Not here in snobby Pontevedra it ain't, amigo. All of which reminds me that when I first came to Spain, speaking almost no Spanish, I formed the view that most dogs here were called Ben. Because their owners kept calling 'Ben here!' Or Ven aquí! in Spanish. For 'Come here!'. Quite a natural assumption, I think. However stupid it now appears.
Finally . . . WTF does The Times ask me every couple of days or so to 'register', when I am already paying to escape their paywall? Can't their software distinguish between a paying customer and someone who's only allowed just 10 free reads? It seems not. Maybe Google should talk to them.