‘It is necessary to force countries against their will.’
“Recent experience has shown that a member state normally wants to avoid a programme until the very last moment,” he said in the EU capital. “This has caused the situation to worsen in the meantime both for the country concerned and for the whole euro area and increased costs to other member states and increased the financing needs as well. There are no volunteers for an EU-IMF programme…
… If the commission does not like what it sees, it can demand changes to the budget, as well as other mid-term plans a government may have for its economy...
… All eurozone states would also be forced to create independent fiscal councils – bodies of ‘experts’ unaccountable to parliaments – who would issue budgetary and economic forecasts. A country’s budget would in turn have to be based on the reports of these fiscal councils.
For countries in deeper troubles and facing serious financial difficulties, Brussels could send teams of inspectors – akin to the ‘Troika’ monitors sent to member states that have received bail-outs.
The overseers could be sent to any state that the commission decides, even if the county has not requested any international assistance.
The not-so final word goes to Barroso:
Questioned by journalists over whether the moves do not insulate decision-making from elected chambers, commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he did not wish to engage in “philosophical debates”.
The solution to the eurozone’s fiscal nightmare is, unsurprisingly, the failed proposal the EU pushed for all twenty-seven member states: full fiscal union with budgetary oversight. Softly, softly…
I wonder how far this government’s newly-created Office for Budget Responsibility meets the EU guidelines of “All eurozone states would also be forced to create independent fiscal councils – bodies of ‘experts’ unaccountable to parliaments – who would issue budgetary and economic forecasts.”
It looks like the UK is ahead of the EU game, as usual, yet successive governments have the nerve to pretend to be ‘eurosceptic’ and want to repatriate powers from Brussels; we’re in it over our heads and probably leading the way. Great Britain but, in particular, England, is the testing ground, the experimental zone, for one-world governance and coffee-coloured multiculturalism.
PS: George Osborne’s leaked letter click to enlarge:
Pic from @chadnoble
UPDATE: It was announced today that Italy’s unelected government under Mario Monti, will also be creating an Office of Budgetary Responsibililty. It seems the EU think Osborne & Cameron have done well and will be rolling out the trial across euro-zone member states.