The U.S. and European media heralded the New Year's Day launch of Europe's new euro currency as a glorious event. Images of smiling, joyous consumers admiring and handling the new currency notes and coins dominated news coverage of the changeover, along with running commentary on the many supposed benefits of the new money: ease of cross-border travel and trade; greater business efficiency; economic stability; and greater competitiveness against the dollar.
Snafus, confusion, and long lines at stores, banks, and highway toll booths were reported in some areas, and stories conceded a wistful nostalgia on the part of many citizens at the passing of their native currencies. Overall, however, the changeover to the euro was proclaimed a roaring success. The Wall Street Journal joined the europhoria, declaring "It's official -- the euro is an overwhelming hit."
Almost completely lost amidst the euro hype and hoopla, though, was the real story, a bombshell dropped by former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, now president of the European Commission, the most powerful political office in the European Union (EU). In a statement he made the day after the euro launch, Mr. Prodi inadvertently admitted what the most ardent critics of the EU have long charged: EU authorities in Brussels and Frankfurt will wield the euro as another political weapon to destroy the sovereignty of the individual EU member states.
"Two days ago, on January 2nd, Mr. Prodi made an astounding admission, stating that the launch of the new retail euro currency is 'not economic ... this is a purely political process,'" British journalist and financial expert Christopher Story said in a January 4th telephone interview with THE NEW AMERICAN. Story is publisher of the prestigious, London-based World Reports, Limited, and author of the explosive new book, The European Collective.
Prodi's admission flew in the face of what was said previously. Story had trouble containing his outrage:
With this previously unremarked honesty, Prodi thereby destroyed with that single comment all the spurious economic and monetary pretensions that had accompanied the prolonged gestation of the euro, making retrospective fools of finance and economy ministers, central bank governors, prime ministers, presidents, an other liars who had contend publicly that the introduction of the euro was necessary in order to make it easier for tourists and businessmen to conduct trans-European transactions. In other words, the moment they launch the blood thing, the moment it's a total fait accompli, they turn around and say its not economic, it's never been economic, it s a purely political process. Now, there are many like myself who have been warning for years that this is precisely what the European Monetary Union [EMU] and euro currency are all about - purely about -- political power. But no one in authority, i.e., Ton Blair, has admitted this befor. Prodi, after all, is the very op man in the European collective and he 's admitting that his is purely political, which means everybody else -- prime ministers, finance ministers, other officials, etc. - have been lying through their bloody teeth.
This fact was not lost on Hilaire du Berrier, the premier "Euroskeptic" (and longtime contributing editor to THE NEW AMERICAN and its predecessors American Opinion and The Review Of The News), who has been exposing the sinister forces and agenda behind the pan-European movement for four decades in his authoritative HduB Reports newsletter. "Notwithstanding all of the glowing media reports and politicians' statements to the contrary, January 1st was a tragic, sad day for Europe," Mr. du Berrier told THE NEW AMERICAN in a telephone interview from his home in Monte Carlo. "In surrendering their currencies for the euro, the peoples of Europe have unwittingly stepped inside a gilded cage and they will soon learn that the Eurocrats in Brussels and the bankers at the European Central Bank are very cruel masters. They are already finding this out on many other fronts where the tyrannical edicts of the EU are running roughshod over their national laws and constitutions, but most people have not grasped the full politi cal implications of this unprecedented, drastic monetary move. The euro changeover is not irreversible, it does not -- as some are claiming -- make it impossible for nations to withdraw once they realize how detrimental it is. But, on a practical level, it does make reversal very, very difficult."
Decades in the Making
Since the 1960s, Mr. du Berrier has chronicled in his reports the "secret history" of the EU and its precursor, the Common Market, utilizing published statements from the European and American press, official documents of European governments, the diaries and memoirs of European Insiders, and his own unparalleled intelligence sources developed over a lifetime of direct participation in some of the most momentous events of the 20th century. Step by step -- from the pre-World War II era, through the war years, and then the post-WWII era -- he detailed the behind-the-scenes machinations of American and European one-world elitists, who worked hand-in-hand with socialists and Communists to subvert and submerge the nations of Europe into an all-powerful, supra-national government. "From the very start," said du Berrier, "the Euro-architects relied on deception and lies. Over and over again, they publicly swore that what they were proposing had nothing to do with destroying national sovereignty or creating a sociali st, centralized, supranational bureaucracy. But that is precisely what they have been doing, all the while insisting that they are merely working for economic cooperation, harmonization, etc."
Du Berrier was among the earliest analysts to realize that the first concrete step toward the abolition of the European nation-states had been taken in 1951 with the signing of the seemingly innocuous treaty creating the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). Ostensibly, this move was to integrate the basic industries of coal and steel so as to make future wars between France and Germany "physically impossible."
The next nail in the coffin of European national sovereignty came on March 25, 1957 with the signing by the six ECSC nations (France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) of the two Treaties of Rome. These created the European Economic Community (EEC or Common Market) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), which greatly furthered the process of merging the economic and energy sectors of the member states. As the ECSC, Euratom, and EEC gradually assumed more economic and political powers, the name of this regional collective changed to the European Community and, finally, to the European Union.
The next stage involved bringing the rest of Western Europe into the fold. In 1973 the United Kingdom, after more than two decades of resisting, came in, as did Ireland and Denmark. In more recent years, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Finland, and Sweden followed.
The year 1986 marked passage of the Single European Act, which mandated the establishment of "an area without internal frontiers, in which the free movement of goods, persons, services, and capital is ensured." The capstone of this audacious effort was the very controversial 1991 Treaty of Maastricht, which committed the EU signatories to a European Monetary Union (EMU), a single currency, and a European Central Bank.
Commenting on the despotic potential of these developments, Professor Murray N. Rothbard, the late, great free-market economist and historian, noted that Maastricht "will make it much easier for the Central Banks of the U.S., Britain and Japan, to collaborate with the new European Central Bank, and thereby to move rapidly toward the old Keynesian dream: a World Central Bank issuing a new world paper currency unit. And then we would be truly off to the races, with the world's money and macro-economy totally at the mercy of a worldwide inflation, centrally controlled by self-proclaimed all-wise Keynesian masters."
The European Central Bank opened in Frankfurt in 1998 and the new euro was launched in 1999 as a "virtual" currency -- used by banks, businesses, and governments. The governments of 12 EU member states opted to join the EMU/ECB regime: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Three EU members -- England, Denmark, and Sweden -- opted out. Interestingly, they are the only countries that have held referenda on the question of joining. Their people opted to stick with their own currencies. Intense pressure has been turned on to push them into adopting the euro. The three countries have been generally pictured as "out of step" with Europe and have been warned of being "left behind" if they do not join the monetary scheme.
Image Versus Reality
According to Dr. Peter Bachmaier, director of the Austrian Institute for East and Southeastern Europe, many Europeans would opt to follow the Brits, Swedes, and Danes if given truthful information and the opportunity to vote. "The television and papers have been showing, almost exclusively, happy people welcoming the euro all over Europe," he told THE NEW AMERICAN, "but that is simply not the true picture. That is blatant Euro-propaganda. We have over 2,000 bancomats [ATMs] in Austria and most of them haven't been working, do not have sufficient Euros, or have had extremely long lines. It has been a huge mess. European Commissioner Prodi was here in Austria for the launch. He and Chancellor Wolfgang Shussel [of Austria] and ECB President Wim Duisenberg have all been praising the change. Most of the Austrians I see re not very happy at all. The schilling as our currency -- a genuine, organic currency with the sovereign state of Austria behind it, with political accountability, ultimately, to the citizens of Au stria."
"People don't trust the new currency because there is no state behind it," he said, and the more they see of the real dictatorial, undemocratic nature of the EU, the more they dread the prospect of it developing into a superstate. Like other Europeans, Austrians are beginning to grasp that the Euro changeover is a terrible blow intended to completely destroy national sovereignty. "Austrians, like people everywhere, have poor understanding of monetary policy," noted Dr. Bachmaier. "What very few Austrians realize is that in adopting the euro we not only handed economic control over our country to the central bankers, but we also handed over control of Austria's gold reserve to the ECB. People I've talked to are very shocked and alarmed when they learn of it. As this and other alarming facts become widely known, opposition to the euro and the EU will intensify, I believe."
Bob Peterman, an American, lives in southern France, where he owns a vineyard and other enterprises. Based on his own experience, Peterman insists that the official line on the euro clashes with reality: "German TV an French TV, like much of the rest of the media, are presenting a very strong pro-euro front; they are presenting the official lines of their governments. So the are showing happy people, which belies the real sentiment of many Europeans."
"I've experienced an seen a lot more frustration and discontent than the official line lets on," Mr. Peterman told THE NEW AMERICAN. "The cashiers can't figure out what they owe you to make change, or they don't have sufficient change in euros. On virtually every transaction the buyer loses a little because the retailers are unsure of the real exchange rate and transaction costs, so they build in extra to cover themselves. This makes for long lines virtually everywhere you go."
"In the long run, of course, these difficulties and aggravations will be smoothed out, but then comes the real danger," Peterman said. "The temporary nuisances we are experiencing now are minor compared to the very real long-term dangers involved in the destruction of national sovereignty and the transfer of economic and political powers to EU officials. From what I observe, there is a strong and growing popular reaction against the euro and against the EU in general."
Brian Flanagan, the owner of a furniture factory in Buncrana, Ireland, is not opposed to the euro in principle but is adamantly opposed to further political union. "I don't claim to understand the economics of it all, but it seems like a good idea in some respects," he said in an interview with this magazine. "The relentless push by the EU authorities for more and more political integration is a real nightmare. They are completely running over our national and local laws. If it continues we will have absolutely no say in our own affairs. I can see how the [EU] economic program is being used to further this political agenda."
Very few Europeans, even its most vocal critics, realize how truly dangerous the EU is, Christopher Story told THE NEW AMERICAN. "The European Union is not a 'nice' institution," he says. "It is a political collective, proceeding by incremental strategic decisions reached behind closed doors, and applied secretively by the Collective's Executive, the European Commission, to which the constituent European nation states foolishly delegated 'general powers,' ostensibly in the interests of 'cooperation.' This weasel-word masks the hideous reality -- that such 'cooperation' is forced, rather than undertaken at arms length. The watchwords of this arrogant reincarnation of Soviet-style collectivism are pressure, harassment, intimidation, and coercion -- all of which are falsely legitimized by the myth of 'cooperation' in the 'common interest.'"
"The EU's objective," said Story, "is to supplant its constituent nation states -- an objective already largely fulfilled. It is thus the remorseless enemy of the nations which have been betrayed by their elites into participation in this political collective on the basis of a false prospectus. Instead of the vague benefits falsely promised by Euro-collectivists, the reality has been more and more oppressive regulation -- the primary instrument of Communism."
In February 2000, Story pointed out, Romano Prodi issued a "nasty manifesto" setting out his Commission's agenda for the next five years. It is, noted Story "purely a Communist program, which is why Mikhail Gorbachev, when he visited London shortly thereafter, in March of that year, was correct in describing the EU as 'the new European Soviet.' One does not need an advanced degree in Leninist studies to see this."
The foregoing should be of more than academic interest to Americans. As we have detailed in previous articles, the same globalists who have so assiduously promoted the EU collective for the past five decades are also far along the path to establishing a similar collective for the Western Hemisphere, under the benign-sounding title of the Free Trade Area of the Americas. (*) If allowed to succeed, the U.S. will be merged with other countries of North and South America into a centrally administered, socialist superstate, with the collectivized "dollar" playing the role of the euro and an expanded Federal Reserve serving as the counterpart to the European Central Bank.
(*.) See "Global Tyranny ... Bloc by Bloc" in the April 9, 2001 issue of TNA and "One Hemisphere Under the Fed" in the October 11, 1999 issue.…