21st November 2010 by Shaun Richards
I thought that I would update you on the letter I wrote to the London Evening Standard. Having emailed the paper the letter I published on here on Thursday I received a request from it for some more details. I then added them to the letter and resubmitted it.
Amended Letter Sent to the London Evening Standard
I have been following the development of the crisis in the countries who are in the Euro project for some time. As an economist I stayed up until gone 2 am on May 10/11th to watch and listen to the Press Conference of Euro zone ministers describing their “shock and awe” rescue vehicle for countries in the Euro who suffered in future from the problem that Greece was then suffering from. At this time they made all sorts of boasts about what their plans would achieve.
If we now go forwards six months to today we find the Euro zone again mired in uncertainty over the fate of Ireland and Portugal. I would like on behalf of Evening Standard readers to ask those Euro zone ministers what happened to their boasts and claims from that and subsequent days? Furthermore my contention is that their main vehicle for recovery the European Financial Stability Facility or EFSF is so flawed that they do not want to use it.
Now we find the possibility that the UK will be dragged into the rescue plan for Ireland via a different European Commission fund. This has two implications. Firstly the then Chancellor Alistair Darling committed us to a project at a time he was denying it and secondly that we are being dragged into support of the Euro project when we have nothing to do with it.
I wish to make it clear that I wish Ireland the best in difficult times but in my opinion the Euro zone should solve its own problems. Back in 1992 when the UK was in trouble nobody helped us. Also as time goes forwards I suspect there will be other calls for money/aid from Euro zone countries with Portugal and possibly Spain leading the list and if we start now with Ireland we have to realise there will be other calls too.Accordingly I believe that our government should be very circumspect before offering help as it is unlikely to be the last call and may not even be the last call from Ireland and there is a danger of us getting on a treadmill we cannot get off. As an example I believe the “temporary” help provided to Greece has now become effectively permanent.
What was published in the newspaper on Friday the 19th of November
I STAYED up through the night on 10 May to hear European ministers describe their “shock and awe” rescue vehicle for Eurozone countries that experienced the same problems as Greece. They made all kind of boasts about what their plans would achieve.
Six months on, the Eurozone is again mired in uncertainty over Ireland’s fate. We should be asking what happened to all those bold claims. Meanwhile the main vehicle for recovery, the European Financial Stability Facility seems to be so flawed ministers do not want to use it.
Now the UK may be dragged into Ireland’s rescue plan via a different European Commission fund, through a commitment Alistair Darling never told us he made. If we help now, how many more times will be expected to shell out? The Eurozone should surely solve its own problems.
I was pleased that the letter was published even though it omitted some details. For example the published version left out the bit where I wished Ireland well. Perhaps more curiously they left out the bit that they had asked me to add!
I thought that I would put the two versions in an article for several reasons. One was as a record. Another was that any new readers intrigued by the article that come to my site can see what I originally wrote. In addition I know from the people who contact me or comment on here that I am read internationally where the Evening Standard is probably read little if at all. So they too can take a look if they wish.