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Juncker fears Anglo-Saxon world stands by to wreck the euro

7 May 2015


‘In a speech to students in Belgium, Jean-Claude Juncker said hostile financiers in London and on Wall Street were waiting to tear apart the euro if it showed any sign of cracking. The EC president said: “If we were to accept that Greece could leave the eurozone, we would put ourselves at risk because some, notably in the Anglo-Saxon world, will try everything to break down the euro area piece by piece, bit by bit.”

Source: The Times

This tells us four things about Mr Juncker, any one of which would make you question the wisdom of having put him in charge of the European Commission.

The first is a blind refusal to face facts. “If we were to accept that Greece could leave the Eurozone…”? Manifestly it could. Whether it will or not is another matter, but Mr Juncker is in cloud-cuckoo land if he does not accept the possibility.

The second is an all-too-evident mistrust of all things Anglo-Saxon. The notion that there is an Anglo-Saxon plot (we think he means Anglo-American) to destroy the Euro is fanciful. And an anglophobe President does not bode well for the UK’s future (if any) in Europe.

Third, describing Wall Street and by implication the USA as “Anglo-Saxon” bespeaks a worrying ignorance of the ethnicity of that country: in the most recent census to ask the question less than 10% of the population described themselves as having English ancestry (the fifth-largest group ranking after German, African-American, Irish and Mexican).

And, fourth, the accusation that “hostile financiers” are ready to pounce like circling predators on a weakened Euro misses the point. Financiers (whether or not “hostile” and whether or not Anglo-Saxon) have no more personal animosity against the Euro than cats have against mice or sharks against vulnerable prey. They do what they do because that’s what they do. It’s how the world works. But Mr Juncker, who as far as we can see is a career politician who has never held down what most people would call a “real job” could not be expected to understand that.