By David Hughes
Politics. Last updated: June 19th, 2012
The pressure is starting to tell. At the G20 summit in Mexico Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, finally lost it. Asked by a Canadian journalist to explain why North Americans should "risk their assets to help Europe" (not an unfair question, in the circumstances), Barroso replied:
Frankly, we are not here to receive lessons in terms of democracy or in terms of how to handle the economy. This crisis was not originated in Europe… seeing as you mention North America, this crisis originated in North America and much of our financial sector was contaminated by, how can I put it, unorthodox practices, from some sectors of the financial market.
Dear me. The eurozone crisis is threatening to drag down the entire global economy and all we get from the EU’s most senior bureaucrat is a hissy-fit. Barroso’s outburst is actually a perfect illustration of the EU elite’s warped and resentful view of the world’s largest economy. The last time I heard anything like this was when Gordon Brown was still in charge and insisted on reminding us ad nauseam that the credit crunch was an American phenomenon, as though British banks were a model of fiscal probity. Barroso and his chums are convinced they are the victims of this crisis, not its architects. The creation of a monetary union without a fiscal and political union, as well as the way the rules were cynically and systematically twisted to allow countries like Greece to join, have conspired to cause this slo-mo train wreck. Yet Barroso claims it was all about jiggery-pokery by some Americian banks. This stupendous level of self-delusion is truly depressing. If the EU’s leaders believe this stuff, they haven’t a hope in hell of resolving this crisis.
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