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Balladur Demands
Bankers' Dictatorship for All of Europe

PARIS, Feb. 17, 2010 (EIRNS)—Former French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur, well known for his political outlook defined by financial interests, published in today's Le Figaro, his own proposals for the ongoing crisis in the Eurozone. His proposals are tantamount to imposing a Vichy-like bankers' dictatorship over Europe, via the Eurogroup, which is composed of all of Europe's finance ministers.

Like Ottmar Issing and others recently in the European Central Bank (ECB) and elsewhere, Balladur warns that were "one or more of the [Eurozone members] to pull out, the crisis of the Eurozone would lead to its possible explosion."

For Balladur, the current problems of the Eurozone are due to the fact that the European Union's Maastricht Treaty didn't go far enough. "We must go further and create a durable system completing the simple Monetary Union adopted by the Maastricht Treaty. The Monetary Union must now become an Economic Union," he said.

His idea of an Economic Union is a dictatorial body that would eliminate still further the sovereignty of the individual European countries. He proposes "that the Eurogroup, which [is composed] of the finance ministers of the 16 members of the zone, be given the power to approve the planned budgets elaborated by the governments before they are submitted to the respective parliaments." This would not be a detailed budget, argues Balladur, it would only present the "global volume of public spending, that of the state, the regions and departments, and the social bodies." The decision on each budget would be taken by simple majority of the Eurogroup, each country having a voting weight which would reflect, like in the IMF, its economic and financial wealth." It is only then that the budget would be submitted to the national parliaments.

Of course, some might raise objections says Balladur: "Those powers of constraint on the budgets established by its members, recognized by the Euro zone, are they not those of the governments? Let us be realistic," says Balladur. If we are to have a minimum of coordination, "we will have to give such new powers to the Eurogroup and admit that any member state of the Euro zone will have to submit to obligations which restrict its freedom of action."

After this second phase of integration, succeeding the original Maastricht Treaty, Balladur proposes a third phase: the coordination of the social and fiscal systems within the Eurozone, in order to prevent excessive disparities from generating conditions of abnormal competition. "Even if it is a fundamental innovation that will put into question the sovereignty of states, it could be decided quickly," he concludes.

Note that Balladur has influence on French President Sarkozy: when Balladur was Prime Minister, Sarkozy was Budget Minister in his government. Balladur published a book during the early phase of the Sarkozy Presidency, on what Sarkozy's foreign policy should be. In it, he called for a reinforcement of the trans-Atlantic alliance, in order to be able to confront the emergence, in particular, of the Asian countries as a political and economic force.