Magazine article The American Conservative

PIGS Crash to Earth

Magazine article The American Conservative

PIGS Crash to Earth

Article excerpt

AMONG THE MEGA-FORCES moving the tectonic plates and imperiling the nation-states of the world from above and below are these:

First, ethno-nationalism, which threatens nations with secession and break-up. We see it with the Uighurs of China, the Naga of India, the Baluch of Iran and Pakistan, the Kurds of Iran, Syria, Iraq, and Turkey, the Chechens of the Russian Caucasus, and the Walloons of Belgium.

Second, transnationalism. This is the project of global elites who seek to reduce nations to ethno-cultural enclaves in a new world order run by these same bloodless bureaucrats whose loyalty is neither to the land nor people whence they came.

Their work in progress, the European Union, however, is imperiled. For the EU just took a great leap forward to force Europe's most indebted nations to surrender their economic independence or be expelled from the European Monetary Union. The PIGS--Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain--may rebel.

Indeed, we may see cascading rebellions across Europe recalling 1848, but with a different outcome.

What brought the EU to this day of reckoning is its decision to go for a trillion-dollar bailout of Greece, Portugal, and Spain rather than letting them default or restructure their debts. These nations are now being directed by the EU and International Monetary Fund to slash public spending and raise taxes, though all suffer from high unemployment, with Spain's at 20 percent.

If Berlin gets its way, these nations may also be forced to submit their budgets in advance to Brussels and accept EU-dictated limits on the deficits they will be permitted to run. This would entail a sweeping surrender of sovereignty, independence, and economic freedom.

Moreover, as the pain of this "rescue" is to be borne by the debtors, while the beneficiaries are the French and German banks that hold tens of billions in PIG paper, a question arises. Why should Athens make Greeks suffer and risk political ruin at the polls, rather than default and let the banks and bondholders of Europe share in the pain?

Why not quit the EMU, default, repudiate the euro, restore the drachma, and devalue? That would make Greek exports more competitive and make Greece a more desirable place in which to site one's next factory. And with its currency devalued, Greece would also become a more attractive destination for Western tourists.

But a Greek default is not the only threat to the EU. …

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