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Europe’s ‘Jefferson Moment’ is a defeat for the federalist dream

The Rubicon has not been crossed. The €500bn Merkel-Macron plan is not fiscal union. It is not the start of eurobonds or joint and several debt issuance.

It is not a great leap forward in the constitutional structure of the EU that many wish it to be. Nor does it rectify the structural failings of monetary union, nor restore the post-Covid solvency of Italy and Club Med states facing a debt-deflation trap. 

The money will not start flowing until next March. 

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Telegraph 20 May 2020 

If you have common bonds, is that not a fiscal union of sorts? 

The key problem with the euro since its founding in 1999 has been that it was — and is — a currency without a fiscal union. 

Austria, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands are fundamentally against the idea of mutualising debts. 

Netherlands is the key country to watch.

FT 21 May 2020

Politicians and analysts say the plan could mark a turning point in the history of the EU. 

Ms Merkel, the idea of Europe”, she said. “The national state alone has no future.” 

It was the sort of thing Mr Macron says.

FT 22 May 2020

Germany’s shift isn’t a “U-turn” and certainly not the “Hamiltonian moment” that would turn the EU from a bloc of sovereign states into a United States of Europe. 

Merkel is still Merkel, which means she will inch forward in the smallest possible increments.

Andreas Kluth Bloomberg 20 May 2020

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