Published: 12 June, 2016.
Author: Chris Gray.
Margaret Thatcher made two errors regarding Europe. The first – a common one among British politicians and commentators – was to imagine that a single European market was possible without something resembling a single European state. Tariffs can be lowered and quotas abolished without affecting the sovereignty of national parliaments, but a single European market requires a lot more: it demands a single rulebook. This means that member-states lose all power to set particular quality standards, environmental controls tailor-made for specific habitats or protection for workers and pensioners from cross-border races to the bottom. A single market may not need a single currency, but it needs a single federal-like state to function properly. But, then again, if a single federal-like state is in place, then we might as well have a single currency too (p121).
Varoufakis?s book is subtitled Europe, austerity and the threat to global security. The analysis deserves scrutiny. The title is a clause from Thucydides? History of the Peloponnesian war, taken from the famous passage concerning the island of Melos, which had rebelled against Athenian rule and was about to suffer the consequences.1