Euro’s troubles an Anglo-Saxon plot

The French reaction to the DSK affair was my first glimpse at the prevalence of conspiracy theorizing among the French. Polls showed that a majority of the French considered it an American plot to bring down Sarkozy’s rival. Now, writing in The Australian, Dalrymple points to another conspiracy theory popular with French intellectuals:

The “markets” — a typically Anglo-Saxon invention — are taken as being both wildly irrational and at present engaged on a concerted attempt to destroy the Euro as a common currency. For believers in the Anglo-Saxons as the secret movers of the world, it could not be that the whole idea of the common currency was flawed in the first place and was bound to lead either to financial catastrophe or to a completely undemocratic and authoritarian central control of the economic life of the continent, or to both. Not a sparrow, or a French bank share, falls, but the Anglo-Saxons are behind it.

The French banks have lost nearly two thirds of their share value since July 1 this year. Why? Could it be that, exposed to Greek foreign debt, of which they hold about a half, at a time when Hellenic default is l’air du temps and the European finance ministers cannot agree among themselves what to do about it, the banks are in a somewhat fragile condition? Not according to the head of the French employers’ federation, Laurence Parisot, for whom Wall Street and the City of London, aided by their journalistic accomplice The Financial Times, are responsible for an organised drumbeat. For her, euroscepticism, the lack of transcendental belief in the European project (though no one will say exactly what it is), is a kind of mental disorder rather than a rational assessment of the chances of 27 European countries coming together peacefully in a kind of giant latter-day Yugoslavia.

Read the whole piece here.

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