dr david bull

Introducing the EU Tomatina!

In Opinion Pieces on April 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm
 La Tomatina
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The world of international finance isn’t one that I would claim as my specialist subject on Mastermind. But having watched the fiasco coming out of Brussels it’s clearly not the Euro politicians strength either.
What started as an exciting eccentric romp overseas has quickly descended into farce. Now I don’t want to say “I told you so” but really I did.
Whatever mind-numbing idiot ever thought a single currency for every country in Europe (oh and even some that appear not to be), all of which have different economies, working practices and standards of living, would ever work?
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In an attempt to keep this fantastically expensive project alive, member states have been subjected to the most shocking amounts of austerity, rendering millions of people impotent, unemployed, poor and very angry.
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Take Spain for example; a country I know a bit about. They have one of the highest levels of youth unemployment in the Western world, with a third of those under 30 unemployed. It’s criminal. And the reason? Well, when Spain joined the Euro there was extraordinary inflation, everyone pushed their prices up (often by as much as 50%) and people got wealthier. But guess what?! It was completely unsustainable.
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In the boom times, hotels shot up like fireworks, the construction industry exploded and holiday homes were thrown up. Everyone ran to snap up a piece of the action.
Holiday homes, sangria, donkeys and other accoutrements were inhaled by citizens of countries like the UK and Germany. But suddenly, almost overnight, all of these became expensive and unaffordable foibles.
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Now the cranes lie idle, the Brits and Germans have gone home, no-one is buying property and those that do still own them can’t afford to run them. The problem is that Spain is extraordinarily expensive.
How can a country which in many ways is still third world charge 25 Euros for two gin and tonics? And don’t even start me on Greece.
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Watching the great European leaders trying to deal with the crisis is like watching seals being dragged towards rotating propeller blades.
You know you shouldn’t watch but you just can’t help it. Any moment now, they will cease to exist having been chopped up into little bits.
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The politics are unravelling. The huge voting shift in France gave 17.9% to the Eurosceptic right wing nationalist anti-immigration party under Le Pen. It’s a massive protest vote and it should be taken seriously. The Dutch government has collapsed, Britain is struggling to justify why, given the extraordinary austerity measures it has imposed, it has just given another ten billion pounds to the IMF and the signs are the Spanish people want out of the EU completely.
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Someone needs to do something. The southern European countries like Greece and Spain need to have an ordered exit from the Euro and be allowed to devalue and rebuild their economies. The countries that keep the Euro will then be smaller in number and more similar to each other in economic terms which should mean they too can rebuild.
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But suggesting this in EU political circles is treason. We have to get these ardent Europhiles to see sense.
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The project is doomed.
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But how do you wake them from their deep slumber? Perhaps a new reality show is the thing to make them see sense.
We can stick the EU politicians in stocks and let the public vote to hurl rotten fruit (the only thing they can afford) at the ones they despise the most in a manner embodied by the crazy Valencian festival “La Tomatina
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It’s time we turned the tables, face the truth and make the politicians look stupid.
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Interestingly whilst writing this I am struck by the fact that my autocorrect feature doesn’t seem to recognise the word Europhiles and wants to replace it with Euro piles.
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Although strictly not accurate it’s a great summation of what the Euro has become. A huge great pain in the bum!
  1. I don’t know where you’re drinking but where i live (denia, a ‘tourist’ town in the summer) two g&t are between €9 and €12. Only the most idiotic of tourists would be conned into spending more. of course if you are speaking of Madrid, say, you would pay more, but only if you can’t be bothered to stray off the tourist track.

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