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Enlargement – the big mistake in Europe.

The big mistake was “Enlargement”. In the early 90’s the original northern and western members of the EU shared broadly similar economic realities. Average gdp per head was around the $60 of the US; trade agreements were more or less between equals. But the collapse of the Berlin Wall was altogether too seductive. What had been a purely economic motivation gave way top a more confusing political one. First Greece, then a dozen countries freshly independent from the Soviet Union joined the enlarged group.

Few of the new members had economies remotely robust enough to manage the funds available to them – let alone make the profits needed to cover the repayment of principal. That was 15 years ago. Now Europe’s strategic mistake is coming home to roost. The new nations are feeling the prick of profligate economic policies. Europe is divided into haves and have nots, voters are becoming polarised, leaders more despotic, regional differences more pronounced. Britain, always on the fence, has jumped ship.The US has become the bully on the bloc. Russia as always is meddling in everyone’s mess.

So it is no surprise to hear that the EU is in gridlock over its budget. Without the UK each member nation will have to contribute more. US penny pinching is not helping any. Most “leaders” are threatened by politics back home. the Mediterranean looks like becoming a war zone.

Agreeing the budget is important. Failure to do so will lead to further breakdowns. If the core area of integration fails then the EU will fail. Europe is facing crisis.