• Isn't it fascinating, if chilling, watching the EU struggle with its debt crisis? Here we have the biggest economy in the world effectively committing suicide. The rest of the family (world) is round the bed urging the EU to take some sustenance (an ECB stew comprised mainly of euro
bonds). Fearing something called "contagion", the EU is saying no. Only parts of the EU are still functioning.
The European Parliament is very quiet. Its main interest appears to be whether to give a lucrative job to somebody called Cardiff. This Cardiff is not from Wales but from Ireland. Perhaps that's the reason for all the concern.
The European Commission is also very quiet. It's chief, the nice Jose Manuel Barroso of the well-cut suits and beautifully accented English, hasn't moved for a week or so.
The European Court of Justice is somewhere around but keeping such a low profile it can only be detected by X-ray.
The only part that appears to be living is Merkozy. This part loves meeting itself and holding meetings with other parts of the EU body. Depending on who you talk to, Merkozy will be meeting the other parts today for either the 15th or 16th time since the crisis began. Hopes are high for a quick recovery from the crisis, but the suspense is mounting.
Looking at this scene, which is equally both tragic and comic, leads me to think how quickly we find the essentials of any situation when a real crisis occurs. Two essentials come to my mind. The first is the whiphand that Germany has over the rest of Europe.
All the world is pressurising Angela Merkel to concede euro bonds and let the other debt-ridden countries off the hook. It's to her credit that she is holding out for a reform of these countries' systems before allowing it to proceed. I hope she succeeds; Europe will be a better place if she does.
The second essential that comes to my mind is how shrewd Bertie Ahern was in declining the job as head of the European Commission. Looking at poor Mr Barroso swanning around helplessly while Merkozy pull the strings only proves how prescient the lad from Drumcondra was.