tv [untitled] October 29, 2012 9:30pm-9:59pm EDT
hello and welcome to crossfire gang people about how much of a union is a growing separatist movements in europe challenge many conventional wisdoms about globalization the nature of state sovereignty and self-determination are we entering a new age of nationalism in europe and around the world and has the great recession created or merely revealed separatist aspirations. to cross-talk european separatist aspirations i'm joined by david torrance in london he is a writer journalist and broadcaster also in london we have robert oulds he is the director of the bruges group and in strasbourg we crossed a year ago chad he's a cocky he is a liberal member of the european parliament and head of the german helen make a business association in germany all right gentlemen crossed out girls in effect
that means you can jump in anytime one day but if i go to you first. the nobel prize peace prize went to the european union but at the same time we have. citizens of spain citizens of the u.k. citizens of italy citizens of belgium that want to leave their mother state if we want to put it that way separatism i mean i thought this was all in the past it's the union now how do you explain the difference in new trends well well in in a sense there is no difference i mean separatist movements of exists or all these countries to some extent for a very long time in scotland in the u.k.'s case and scotland way back to the late nineteenth century and it's important to emphasize that although the european union and the eurozone crisis is a factor nationalism existed in the u.k. before the u.k. was a member of the european union and it exists now you know the interesting point is that support for scottish independence is no higher no higher now than it was in the one nine hundred sixty s. ok you're going to go to you i mean but people are talking about is this
a result of the great recession because of austerity he gets more attention. well it gets more of attention especially within the euro zone specially in those countries that are suffering from austerity especially in the south look at. spain where you have autonomous regions that now under the crisis of your style austerity policy of the european union think it would be wiser to become independent but this is just the current situation talk i think if you look at the solutions to be independent as a loony or within the world is not a solution the solution of course is a close european union a closely euro zone and this will be the result so one is the hawks but the other thing is the political result that it will lead to robert you've been very patient go right ahead. the european union is causing these countries to break up because
it's causing these countries to become in a sense failed states it governs economic policies of the south of you and these countries are suffering economically massive unemployment no growth they've got deep recessions what are people going to do they're going to say look for turnitin political structures that is inevitable now of course one point that david made was that all these nationalist movements are nothing new well recent until relatively recently and catalonia in spain most people supported staying part of spain now of course that situation has changed dramatically because of the economic crisis which originates form the euro and these austerity measures which are forced upon these countries by the european central central bank and the european union as well of course the i.m.f. in the case of greece now that is hurting them deeply and it's showing that these countries are off failing and it's creating a great deal of economic harm so the our serve having more union more e.u.
control over these countries is of course just totally misguided problem that the european union is causing these countries to fail ok david what do you think about that more union or less if that's the divisional graham right now go ahead. slightly i mean as another guest touched upon independence or more nation states does not of itself offer a solution though naturally nationalist movements surplus movements around europe and less n.p. in scotland are a perfect example of this they argue constantly that their independence as a solution to all scotland's ills stop will somehow become much wealthier much fairer much more prosperous and so on that there is very little to back that up you know our own the world smart some small countries do well some large countries do well and vice versa the you cannot apply blanket rule so this as i think robert is doing in the case of the european union ok you know what about competitiveness
because that's the issue right here i mean if you're a small and you're prosperous you can go it alone but if you're not prosperous you stick with the union ok or a block of countries it's a mixed bag here isn't it. absolutely look at germany within the european union germany is maybe too big for the european union that's why i don't mean that so much you cannot make fares and the currency of fares in general but it's too small for the world market that is why even for germany and it's much much better it's much much it's not nonsense i'm sorry i am german member of parliament i know exactly that two thirds saying to germany one of the. economy this is the program is called hostile can you give me just a basic fact these countries are a lot smaller than germany that do very well in the world is singapore which is a tiny nation which has a great possibility switzerland is very very small yet of course that has a higher g.d.p. than any other state with a new iceland is
a small country yet they have higher it will investment than all the e.u. relation to attend the germany is too small to go within the world robert let me jump in you are going to please continue going to government regulations to tell us that singapore one of the richest countries of the world would be there without german money or switzerland without german money somebody has to work to produce in order to get all these money into switzerland and that's germany at the moment and germany lives from the eurozone and from the european union market but nevertheless i think the answer is that we need more regional ethnical movements like the scottish like the flemish or like the cuttlebone and i have no problem with it but we need at the same time a stronger european union that's no contradiction at all what we need is to get rid of the nation state the current problems we have in the euro crisis has to do with different how do they first try was france or france or germany so we have to have
less influence by the national capitals more stronger federal type of the european union right to be without great thank you very much for that thank you you've been very honest and i have a spec that you do. with the nation state and last we've had some honesty in this debate because the choice is really between do we want to have more powers to the unelected and unaccountable institutions of the european union or of course have a return to power of the nation states. to support our e.u. and you disagree with a nation state you want to see that on your mind well i don't the nation state is actually the cornerstone of democracy within any country when you have a nation state that's what works best because the e.u. has undermined the nation state and because german economic policy has been imposed on countries where it doesn't fit such as italy greece and as you know well and of course spain then we see economic harm and we see konami damage really the answer is to return powers to nation state not destroy it as you want ok david where you
say look david please. i mean going in opposite direction and arguing that the european union should cease to exist altogether and it should break up into its component parts but the point then is where does it all end where does our own bit do do then remorseless terminators can to. produce escalators component parts and where does the end of the u. kid you have england boiled down to to its ancient paintings you know you cannot apply blanket rules on this and all robert's comments are very specific to the southern european nations. because if an. hoa to scotland to your rationale. absolutely. i would ask also most people in scotland want to stay within the united kingdom as you've already said in the polls haven't moved on that in that direction more people in scotland wanting independence most in fact they've moved the other direction and most people want to stay. but there still. has existed for over
three hundred years or three hundred five years now there's been union between england and scotland has worked very well for the british people that there's no reason to change at what we don't want is it to ation where the european union takes more power away from citizens yet at the same time using the committee of the regions and the e.u. structural funds to balkanize countries and to undermind soften to the nation state and have them broken up into their constituents a constituent if you're going straight it's going to unleash ethnic tensions and we're going to strasburg sorry there's the biggest crab i ever heard sorry you talk about one percent of g.d.p. and one use per cent i'm very sorry and that's nothing so i represent the only directly elected chamber in europe that's the european parliament i'm in favor of it's not a real model you know there's nothing it's not a real parliament i know this isn't form of government it doesn't only legislation
they come from the commission which is our military so sorry we do elect to shop we we do stop the commission if they do mistakes but let me tell you that. because you said you have to be honest the time has come where we have to separate the ones who want a closed cooperating european union and the ones who want to stay out and the united kingdom u.k. definitely made some decisions historical decisions the last three summits where it says we want to stay out please forgive me but the rest of the eurozone will continue even the greeks i have. double citizenship i sit here in front of you as a german m.e.p. but also as a greek citizen because i'm also greek and i can tell you the historical decision of the greeks in favor of the financial transaction tax is the core says that the greeks want to be with the nations that go ahead into fiscal union which is
a federal fiscal state and that's what we will see let me ask let me let me let me let me ask a before we just on the name and david pension please robert david is this democratic having a more federal union right now without asking the people themselves. no i absolutely not i mean the consultation with the people you govern with consent is that salute bedrock of democracy and i i agree with robert's a point to make an argument that the european union as currently structured is truly democratic is a pretty shaky one you know not least because the the commission isn't directly elected sure the european parliament is selective but that's one of the component. says you know their choice has to be made on this but that's where the contradiction lies with a lot of the not going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on european separatism stay with r.t. . if.
you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else you hear or see some other part of it and realize that everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm tom parker was a big. asset . watching the show every single day. and waiting for you to say. i saw
into what one would in a situation where let's say the boss can win an election a referendum and leave spain and the spanish central authorities say we will let you into the european union that's not very nice is it i mean self-determination there and what my point is in the european union today is self-determination over it's done. well you have two big trends you have the globalization where china plays a big role all the brics brazil russia india and of course china and the european countries can only compete if they fit into a big block that's the european union with five hundred inhabitants of this big market on the other hand the trend is regionalization and i see no contradiction in having a europe of the regions with less influence of the nation states stronger influence of the regions but a very very fragile aspect of what you're also saying is that your identity is
european if you like it or not that's what the logic dictates yes there are a lot of european patricks already. all over europe there are there are a lot of germans who live. on the spanish island all over the year they look they watch german t.v. they read german newspapers but they live in another country so you have a lot of these europeans they are european patriots and they want the european union well they have a they have here a peon passports robert what do you think about that identity it's an identity issue as well not only a bureaucratic one. well we're seeing a tacit. admission that the european union has an agenda to undermine the nation states but to pretend that we have to belong to a supra national political structure the european union to compete in the global marketplace is incorrect the countries outside of the european union norway switzerland they're a lot better off than the a you the e.u.
isn't working to be frank look at the problems in the south of europe and even france and germany are going into recession the e.u. is not working it's hurting the economy it's creating unemployment and we're seeing the decline of europe because it's controlling approach makes business regulation uncompetitive and it just damages the economy and we see the growth of the southeast asia and other countries such as brazil where the economies are growing because they haven't followed the european union's model of over vague elation and excessive interference the e.u. is creating unemployment and it's better off that countries were to take back control of their own affairs and have their own currencies that suit their own best interest of the euro as well as the e.u. is a failure ok david i mean maybe it would say in theory more europe is necessary to save the union and the euro but how do you sell that to people saying all we're
getting is austerity i mean how do you square the circle. it's very difficult i mean this is probably almost impossible to square the circle because all those all those tensions are there and if you say to the greeks are the spanish or the portuguese the solution to your pain is more of the european union they will they will naturally react against that but again the dynamics are very interesting because the castle separatists the basque separatists and also the scottish nationalists they all want to be part of a european union but as a new nation states as a new member states within that they all assume they're going to be let into the club and perhaps they are but it won't be easy ok if we go back to structure your what do you think about that i mean what let them have their own nation state and join the european union why not. nothing against it i mean we see in belgium for instance where the flemish part wants to become more independent. there are movements all over europe we have even in germany
a debate about bavaria it's rather theoretical intellectually but some of their in say we would be better off if we would be outside germany because we have we live in a transfer union within germany so we better be sovereign the other germany or the agreement of the of the some germans might read what if. they keep producing good beer it's fine with me ok they will they were also good guys good cars but i would like to answer robert he talked about norway and switzerland yes they are very very successful countries but switzerland would be nothing without the bank regulation and norway would be nothing without oil so please do not take examples that are not typical for the european union he is right at one point iceland higher form and direct investment than other e.u. states has just iceland and what do they have i'm not. aware of other countries outside where you have fallen direct investment robert let me answer that you will
you might be outside the european union but iceland have you visited eyes in the last year please go there we have a tremendous problem of fiscal policy there tremendous problem of debt so eisen is not a good example but what i would like to see is yes your economy has recovered from the financial crisis where was a nation in e.u. suffers from the austerity and has to pay back billions and they haven't had the opportunity to exercise their own national so and they're starting to suck in this debt cycle they are suffering a great deal so go to our countries on the south of europe and see what's happened to them compare that to the icelandic situation a nice nice a lot better off and of course the people was a nice and show that most people don't want to join the us. ok you are right that iceland has gone through the crisis that is what most of the countries in the south of europe are doing now they are going through an austerity that they would anyhow
with or without the european european union have to go through because what we live now is that many member states many countries also of the u.k. but especially germany belgium france have lived with money over the last two years that they don't have any especially the southern countries of europe that is why the reaction we see now the austerity policy would have come anyhow something david what do you know. i mean you don't work ahead david what do you think about that because again i don't understand how you square the circle here how can europeans be attracted to more europe as they say as they're experiencing this crisis and this crisis for many could be generational ok and we have the rise of nationalist rhetoric and all this i mean i think you guys sometimes are very idealistic about what europe's about but there's an ugly side growing as well. well there's a sides to some some nationalisms luckily and in scotland we don't see any of that but nationalist movements are essentially opportunistic they look for excuses to
justify a conclusion they've already reached and i have to say that that's also robert's position of being robert as against the european union what was his argument ten years ago when when western european economies were all booming what was his argument against that then people will always find a national survey of the persuasion british nationalists of scottish nationalists will find a reason not to like the bigger state their lifetime was on the wall about the e.u. ten years ago and i've been warning that the euro would fail ten years ago but i've been warning now you see more tonight and i do see the made ninety nine for the euro in ireland it's never made sense and i've never supported it because it does not make it so the right hasn't always in years ago to a monetary union with germany that just does not make economic sense it never did it never will so i've been i've been consistent and events have unfortunately proved me via because of course it's a people on the south of europe who are losing their jobs having their paiva juiced
and of course having their pensions cut and it's a deep deep crisis and of course the pain now is even spreading to germany because their export market is drying up in the in the eurozone because there is just no spending power left its cause that much damage it's even pushing germany into a recession you're going to do you think about this go ahead jump in. robert is right the crisis comes to germany but the way out of the crisis has been presented last weeks in summits and also in some speeches of some leaders especially american the chancellor in germany what she said is that we will have now a new budget and you budget too if you if you wish. transfer money from the richer regions to the poorer regions in order to let the match again with the competitiveness within the european common market that we have so this new fund that she proposes she called it competitiveness fund would comprise much more than
the one percent of the. g.d.p. that we see now as a budget of the european union it will be two three or even four percent and it will be due as of two thousand and thirteen so you see that we do some steps to get out of the crisis because we see that twenty years after we started the common market they have been some winners you know like the central countries and some big big losers and we have to fix that there robert is right but i have to say that there is no other solution ok i continue european ok david can you export competitiveness. well if only if only you could bottle and sell it to the country's leader you know with an with member states of the european union you have wide disparities in that fact in that respect in scotland we've always had difficulty with with entrepreneurial activity of business start ups whereas in the south east of england of course is booming in that respect and
always has done you cannot apply blanket blanket rules for this and that's where the european union does have a role to play in pushing money or own you know across subsidize asian and fiscal policy to when is working properly of course as robert says absolutely correctly the euro zone is and isn't a complete mess robert go ahead i'm sure you have an opinion robert jump in there go ahead. with the european union the spreading discord it was meant to bring unity but as course we're seeing people's democracy is being undermined is creating discord and people on the streets now you go must be deeply pained when he saw. the german greek or greek german when he knew and angela merkel went to athens and there's these anti german protests and people accusing her of being a nazi which she clearly is not but the amount of discord in the hatred that the situation in europe is generating is deeply painful must be for me it must be
especially the so be you go but of course that is what will happen when of course countries are forced into a political union in an economic and monetary union when their interests do not align and we see the ok out of this i got twenty so if you are going to live we going to get the last word go ahead twenty seconds. but this ride i felt very bad when i was welcomed like this we have to overcome this and proposals on the table is the way out of this you know hatred that has grown the last weeks due to the crisis ok well let's see gentlemen if the european union really does deserve that peace prize many thanks to my guest in london and in strasbourg and thanks to our viewers for watching us here i see you next time and remember crosstalk rules.
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