Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Strange Article

A strange news story that stuck out to me (it's behind a pay-wall, so here's the important bits):
IQALUIT, Nunavut (Dow Jones)--European members of the Group of Seven nations told their counterparts that budget problems in Greece are "no matter" for the International Monetary Fund, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Saturday.

Speaking to reporters at the end of a meeting with top G-7 financial officials, Schaeuble said there was "no doubt" that the euro-zone members oppose any outside involvement in helping Greece to solve its problems.

"All our partners outside the euro zone have the firm impression that the Europeans will solve the problem and can deal with it and that we are aware of the problem," Schaeuble said. "But we have strongly and unanimously refused to discuss internal problems." To make that point, he added that Europe isn't discussing problems occurring in the U.S. state of California either.
I don't exactly know why this article struck me so oddly. I guess it's the strongest statement of territorial integrity from Europe I've seen yet. I've held that the slow process of the EU's birth and solidification has been like watching the US' Constitutional Conventions in slow motion -- watching a federation of states become a single nation -- but this is an interesting new take. I suppose this is a by-product of the new EU Constitution, stating that there's now one EU foreign policy and therefore things like the IMF have to go through Europe first.

I guess what really strikes me is that the State of California does not have any internationally recognized sovereignty, whereas as far as I know Greece still does. (side-note: the United States did want to give California some form of internationally recognized sovereignty during the very early days of the United Nations -- the USSR wanted each of its 14 Republics to be treated as separate states for the purposes of the UN's Security Council, and the US threatened that if that was the case, each of its 50 states would be given a vote on the council -- but I digress) I wonder how that statement played in Greece.