One Flew Over the EU’s Mess

Written on March 21, 2012 by Ángeles Figueroa-Alcorta in Europe, Globalization & International Trade, Political Economy

Welcome to the European Union Home for the Economically Insane.

By Hugo Brady

Welcome to the European Union Home for the Economically Insane. We care for nations dealing with status anxiety, paranoia and low self-esteem, or those who are simply drifting into a senile old age. Please follow me on the guided tour.

Upstairs we have the Acropolis Room. This is where Dr. Draghi and Nurse Merkel tend to chronically ill patients, some of whom are hooked up to life-support machines. Nurse Merkel spends a lot of her time tending personally to one Mr. We-Invented-Democracy-You-Know, sadly comatose since 2008. Sometimes she sits beside him all day, as he lies in his blue-and-white striped pajamas, a pillow resting on her lap.

Dr. Draghi and Nurse Merkel would never dream of disagreeing openly in front of the patients or other staff. Yet they have quiet differences over therapeutic matters. Nurse Merkel is a big believer in electric shocks that, when administered to the head, can get a patient on their feet again. Privately, the good doctor finds this risky and a bit Neanderthal. He prefers injections of anti-depressants and other drugs to ease the patients’ suffering while leaving their personalities intact. The hospital orderly, Mr. Sarkozy, tries to join in their exchanges. But the truth is that he does not know very much about medicine.

Next is the common Security and Defense Room, where patients can divert themselves with puzzles, games and activities. These mainly focus on geography. Some patients used to be professional explorers in a former life. And Sir Mother-of-All-Parliaments and Mme. We-Invented-Human-Rights were also rivals at international chess tournaments long, long ago. Now, most patients limit themselves to ping-pong or the occasional bingo night where they get to argue pointlessly about the score. Read more…

Mr. Brady is a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform.

As published in online.wsj.com on March 20, 2012.


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January 20th April 8, 2013 - 10:39 am

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