Under the heading of “Every Country Has to Help Itself”a leading German newspaper (Die Zeit) pointed out yesterday, September 5, that a political union of Europe can be achieved, if at all, only after many years. At this stage it would seem that few countries are prepared to surrender the necessary amounts of national sovereignty. To use the assumption of ultimate political union as an argument to support pleas for immediate financial help is self-contradictory and dangerous because to grant them would carry high financial risks.
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But the schilling was not an independent currency, Die Presse (August 28) noted: “What schilling are these gentlemen talking about? The one that was converted to the euro in 2002? Sorry, that wasn’t a schilling, but a deutschmark in disguise. The independent Austrian currency was partially abolished in the 1960s by [conservative] finance minister Schmitz, and a few years later the job was finished off by his [social democratic] successor Androsch, who pegged the schilling to the deutschmark against the will of [ex-chancellor] Kreisky and his industrial advisers….
“So Austria has been doing perfectly well with monetary unions for the last 40 years. Reverting a small country with an export share of more than 50 percent to a totally insular currency – it would take a lot to come up with a dumber economic policy than that.”