|Man Without Qualities|
Monday, May 30, 2005
The French rejection of the EU Constitution is just the latest symptom of a general and inexorably spreading economic anxiety throughout Europe. The Netherlands is now poised to reject that same document. The European system is seriously broken, and may be close to being beyond repair without huge social dislocation. That cannot be correctly said of the US, which has its own, much less severe issues. But while the European electorate and its elite all know (or have a panicky, suppressed suspicion) that the problems are much larger than is officially admitted, few are willing to embrace the necessary reform. In the mean time, the problems just keep getting worse, and the efforts to conceal and deny the extent of those problems themselves just keep growing. Here's another amazing example from the Wall Street Journal:
STOCKHOLM -- Jan Edling, a little-known labor-union economist, is suddenly in the policy spotlight with his assertion that Sweden's real jobless rate is really closer to 20% than the official 5.5% rate.
Some are calling the French rejection of the EU Constitution a "disaster" - which, for some people in the European elite, it is. But my guess is that observers looking back from a few years in the future will see the French vote of May 29 as but a mere harbinger of what is to come. Like the first swallows at Capistrano.
Or, more suggestively, the first irate crows in "The Birds."
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