'Europeanization' of America?

EU Parliament Member Daniel Hannan weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 14, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


DANIEL HANNAN, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT CONSERVATIVE: It doesn’t have to be this way. You deserve better, my friends. And we expect better.



NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Daniel Hannan and Chris Christie, if you think about it, they seem to battle it out for rock star status on YouTube. It depends on the week, I guess.

One of them right with me right now, European Parliament member Daniel Hannan. Daniel, good to have you.

You have your work cut out for you, young man, beating that couple I had before, 70 years of blissful marriage. But...

HANNAN: Wasn’t that just the most wonderful thing? How could you not be cheered up by that?

CAVUTO: Amazing. Amazing.

Boy, talk about history those two have lived through. There was a lot more unity and perseverance in their younger marriage years than certainly we are seeing now.

You're worried about the state of affairs here, there, and everywhere right now, aren't you?


HANNAN: I think there's going to be some much more acrimonious divorces in Europe among whole nations than there are even among the couples who are not trying their hardest.

Yes, things are bad in Europe. They really -- the Greek economy is in collapse. The countries that are being asked to bail them out are rebelling, all because we’re trying to keep this wretched single currency going. It’s cruel and irresponsible behavior on behalf of the leaders.

CAVUTO: Why don’t they just wake up and sort of smell the currency coffee and say it’s not worth it?

HANNAN: Your American writer Upton Sinclair made a brilliant observation, which is that it is remarkably difficult to make a man understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

Once you get rid of a single currency, you start undermining the whole European project. And there are so many jobs and positions now with a vested interest in this continuing project of European integration, that they are prepared to inflict this shocking poverty on the Mediterranean countries and these vast tax rises on the northern countries, rather than allow any return to the national country -- the national currencies and national economic policies that these countries desperately need.

Until they leave the euro, the Greeks have got no light at the end of the tunnel.

CAVUTO: So, why don't they just wake up? Because I traveled -- as do you, I go to Greece. They miss their drachma. The Italians miss their lira. They know this is a great goal on paper for one big European continent and currency and union, but it's just not working out, right? It's just not happening.

HANNAN: Well, in order to make it work out, in order to keep that goal, you think of what has happened in Italy and Greece.

We have had coups. We have bloodless and genteel coups, where elected prime ministers have been toppled in favor of Eurocrats, in Greece, the former vice president of the European Central Bank, in Italy, a former commissioner, Mario Monti. Both of them lead what are called national governments, but these are governments have been put together for the sole purpose of implementing policies that would be rejected in a general election.

They're called technocrats, but they're the clods who got us into this policy with their debt and with getting Greece and Italy in at the beginning. This is the police we are paying, not just economically, but democratically, to keep the single currency together.

We've suspended multiparty democracy in two countries which, within living memory, emerged from dictatorship.

CAVUTO: So, where does it go?

HANNAN: All the options from here are bad, I'm afraid.

The debt level is such, and the lack of having the appropriate monetary policy is such there are no easy ways out. Clearly, the least painful option is for Greece to devalue, decouple, default, and then to begin to export its way back to growth. It's going to be a hard and difficult climb, but at least it's a beginning.


HANNAN: I'm afraid I don't see anyone doing that. And I think that, in the short term, things are going to get a lot worse.

CAVUTO: Daniel, thank you.

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