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The disarray among ruling circles in the European Union could hardly have been more clearly depicted than at the ‘summit’ over the weekend of October 4th and 5th. In reality the event was little more than a photo-shoot. The meeting brought together the Prime Ministers of Britain, Germany, Italy and France. The Prime Minister of Spain clearly had his nose put out of joint by the lack of an invitation. The other EU members (currently 27 nation states) also may well have asked why they weren’t to be asked to take part in decisions that could profoundly affect their futures.

The only realistic reply could be that the meeting would have been even more of a shambles. Europe cannot get its act together. First the participants at the summit swore to unite in action in the teeth of the crisis. Secondly, when it came to pumping money in to the European banking system (which must come if the plan is serious) they all got cold feet. National interests came first. German finance minister Peer Steinbruck blew the gaff. “We as Germans do not want to pay into a big pot where we do not have control and do not know where German money might be used,” he complained. Since the EU nations are not hanging together, they will hang separately.