Wed, 16/03/2011 - 01:00 | Martin Wingfield
16TH MARCH 2011: As the Euro continued to struggle and Spainís credit rating was downgraded on the international markets, the leaders of the 17 Euro-member countries, meeting in Brussels at the end of last week, desperately tried to keep the EU currency afloat.
In an effort to stave off the collapse of the currency, they almost doubled the size of the bailout fund it has borrowed from international speculators to support the its weakest members.
They gave the European Financial Stability Fund the taxpayer-backed guarantees it needed to borrow on the international money markets, increasing this Euro-bailout fund from 250 billion to 440 billion euros.
This borrowed money will in turn be lent to the economies of countries such as Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Greece which are collapsing under the weight of the common European currency.
Greece, which has so far done everything it has been told to do by Brussels in the face of growing public anger there, got a cut in the interest rate on its bailout loans so far. Ireland, where the people threw out the Government that had also grovelled to the EUís dictates, was punished for its peopleís impertinence by not getting a similar cut.
The European Union leaders took the opportunity presented by growing desperation in the weaker E,uro member countries to demand more power. Their meeting also came up with a shopping list of additional powers they want the EU to have over the economic policies of member states, including tax rates set centrally in Brussels, they want agreed by a summit of all 27 EU member states, including Britain, on 24th and 25th March.
It is typical of the EU that they respond to the increasingly obvious failure of a grandiose scheme for centralising economic power in Brussels, the Euro, with a demand for even more centralisation of economic power.
Such a policy is like the captain of the Titanic responded to its sinking by ordering the pumping of lots more seawater aboard his vessel!