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Goodbye, EU, and thanks for all the fish

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Megan Kelly |
European UnionDebt crisis in European Union is deepening, Spain's two-year borrowing costs looks terrifyingly similar to U.S. Treasury yields in 2008, global markets are looking at European policymakers but they are fighting - for the fish.


What Mauritius and Iceland have in common? They are in the centre of dispute about fishing, a debate that looks funny at first but shows clearly how unable EU is to solve deeper problems than fishing quotas.

Story No1: A few months ago Mauritius and EU made a deal under which European boats may catch 5,500 tonnes of fish a year, for 660,000 Euros, but now local fishermen say their catch has declined by 50 to 60 percent. As allAfrica writes: "These big vessels are scratching the sea around Mauritius and taking away all the fish."

Story No 2: European Union is considering sanctions against Iceland accusing it for overfishing of mackerel. However, EU declined Island's reasonable offer that all countries reduce their catch by 30 percent and instead thinks how to apply trade sanctions against Iceland.

Those two short stories shows that EU is very fast and arrogant when it comes to easy stuff. Mauritius? No problem! Catch all its fish! Iceland? No problem! Catch its fish too! But EU has no clue what to do with bigger problems. And problems are big indeed. The euro hit a two-year low against US dollar and a 12-year low against the yen, only four euro zone members have top credit rating, EU can't decide should Greece stay in the zone or not, it's not clear will there be a banking union and of which kind, all important decisions are in fact deals between Berlin and Paris...

Maybe the most important thing is that banks' wrongdoing can bring down the whole union to its knees and top EU politicians have no clue what to do about it. All nasty things that happened around Libor and Euribor brought millions of dollars in damage and it's unclear what can be done about it at the EU zone level. It's clear that top politicians are busy with daily politics dealing with distracting questions over and over again while they should transfer them to lower levels and focus on system issues.

European Union is on its knees because it made one crucial mistake and is unable to correct it. The mistake was allowing economic unfit countries like Bulgaria and Greece to enter the union although it was obvious from the start that they won't be able to follow Old Europe's economic development. That was a victory of politics over economy, a very costly victory. We know from the past that when politics takes over business, business won't flourish, to say the least.

Now, the question is how to correct that mistake? The answer is simple: without deep changes of the system it can't be corrected. When there was just an economic union things were simple, rules were clear, and businessmen were able to focus on business. But when politics stepped in, it introduced a complete mess. For example, politicians dictated which country or company is suitable to do business with EU members and which is not. That has nothing to do with a "creations of a business climate", that's too much business power in hand on non-businessmen.

If Europe doesn't make some very hard but necessary decisions soon, and continue to fight over minor problems - making the whale out of mackerel - we will witness the decline of still powerful economic union and in that case the best thing we could say will be "Goodbye, EU, and thanks for all the fish".

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