An Englishmans Castle
The Death Of The euro
Bill Jamieson: Apocalypse could be now for euro - Scotsman.com
The reports tell of Foreign Office preparations to evacuate thousands of British expatriates and holidaymakers from countries that may be stricken by a break-up of the eurozone. The Ministry of Defence is also said to have been consulted about evacuation plans should UK citizens find themselves trapped in countries which have closed their borders and where bank withdrawals have been suspended.
In the frontline of this preparation is the Treasury, where reports have been circulating for weeks of contingency planning in the event of a disintegration of the single currency. Key arrangements include plans for the imposition of capital controls. Immigration and border controls would also be tightened.
Cross-border emergency evacuations; curtailment of the movement of money; detailed checks on crossing borders: these are the very opposite of the free movement of capital, goods, services and labour that the European single market was supposed to enshrine. The assumption behind these plans is that there would be a panic-fuelled capital flight as a banking failure took hold. The end result could be a freeze of electronic transfers and a halt to disbursements from hole-in-the-wall machines. And if people have no access to their money, those stricken countries in the eurozone do not just have a banking problem, or a sovereign debt problem. They have a law-and-order problem.
The salvation of Europe would, on the contrary, appear to lie in the overwhelming popular preference for people to be governed locally and by their own people, rather than by supra-national constructs. This is the counter-force that the events of 2012 will unleash as the debt and deficit crisis enters a new and explosive stage. That is why next week we will be in no ordinary year, and in no ordinary new era.