Demise of EU may be over-stated
By Bob Berwyn
LINZ, AUSTRIA — While parts of the Eurozone have been feeling some serious pain the past few months, a quick stroll through a central shopping district in this Austrian city straddling the Danube suggests that the demise of the European Union has been greatly exaggerated by the U.S. media.
There’s no denying that Spain and Greece have teetered close to edge of economic ruin. And it’s probably not hard to imagine that an economic web spun from cloth as broad and disparate as the EU might fray at its edges from time to time. But for this summer, at least, the free trade zone and ambitious currency union still seem to be working, with goods from all over the region in evidence along the sidewalks and in the storefronts.
Politicians may be bickering over a rescue plan, and there is, for sure, some grumbling about the cost of bailouts, but in a quick conversation with a tech guy at a computer shop here, I learned that many people are still convinced that the European Union will prevail, albeit with a few stumbling blocks along the way.
To this point, nobody has suggested anything better, as the fringe nationalism espoused on the margins of the political scene doesn’t seem to be gaining much traction. It just doesn’t feel like anyone wants to go down the path of re-nationalization, at least not yet. Things would probably have to get a lot worse before that becomes a realistic option.