Merkel and Sarkozy create a Europe the American right can do business with?

Perfectly balanced pair - Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Nicolas Sarkozy agree to a rescue plan for the euro zone centered on balanced budgets.
Credit: Julien M. Hekimian

The shape of the last chance solution for the euro zone crisis emerged following a luncheon meeting in Paris between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The key points: there will be strict debt limits imposed on euro zone members and they will be forced to have balanced budgets. The enforcer for the balanced budget will be the European Court of Justice.

To make this happen the Lisbon Treaty, which currently governs the EU will have certain provisions re-negotiated.

This is the wet dream of congressional Republicans - whose ignorance of Europe is as frightening as anything in their professed know-nothing, anti-intellectual approach to governance. They would love nothing more than to have a balanced budget amendment enforced by a Supreme Court that tilts right.

And to make it happen the equivalent of a Constitutional Amendment is enacted!!!!!!!!

When a balanced budget amendment came up in the House of Representatives last month it was defeated and House Speaker John Boehner fulminated.

Perhaps now the right in America will stop making noises about "socialist" Europe.

Of course, there is a left in Europe and the French chapter is not happy with Merkozy's plan.

Benoit Hamon, secretary of the Socialist Party told Liberation newspaper, "Austerity was the winner by a knockout." He added, "Sarkozy had abdicated before the conservative German government."

Eva Joly, of the Green Party, said the pair "risked breaking the connection between citizens and the European project."

Joly was referring to the fact that the changes to the Lisbon Treaty are expected to be done in such a way that they will not require voter endorsement.

Conventional wisdom based on past referenda would indicate that voters in at least one signatory of the Treaty - say Ireland - would reject the changes.

I disagree. Put a gun to people's heads and they tend to vote the way they are told. The threat of euro disintegration and a Europe wide depression with no way out is a more powerful persuader than having Clint Eastwood hold a 44 Magnum to your head while asking if you feel lucky.  The Irish would vote yes as would citizens of most countries who were given the democratic option of saying yea or nay.

People around the continent have a pretty good idea of just how bad the situation is - except in Greece.

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