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Liam Fox: all weaker Eurozone members should leave the single currency simultaneously

28 October 2012

Since leaving the Cabinet, Liam Fox has acted as a cross between a scout and an out-rider for various of his former Conservative Cabinet colleagues. In a speech in Oslo tomorrow, he’ll argue that the only way to deal with the Euro crisis is for all of those countries who cannot realistically cope with the demands of the single currency to leave in one go. Otherwise, he argues the markets will simply pick the weaker countries off one by one.

Fox is certainly right that if Greece left, or was forced out, of the single currency, Spain and Italy would then find themselves under intense—and, probably intolerable—market pressure. But I suspect that the Eurozone lacks the political and economic awareness to make the kind of clean break that Fox is proposing.

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This is worrying because as Fox says, the kind of austerity that the Greeks are being made to go through could all too easily end up boosting extremism there. Paul Mason, the economics editor of Newsnight and hardly a Foxite, was examining the parallels between Greece today and Weimar Germany just this weekend.

One other thing worth noting about the speech is the emphasis that Fox puts on the Arctic and security there in the face of a more authoritarian Russia. Fox says that he hopes post-Afghanistan when UK forces ‘recommence training for contingency operations, exercises in the Arctic will return as one of their staple activities.’

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  • Hoot_Gibson

    Good to hear Mr Fox your comments that you are not spending all your time looking for ways to milk the expenses.

  • Lightonhisfeet

    Fox f***ed the Armed Forces. He is a weasly little turd and if he is what passes for a Tory Right flag bearer then I can see no better reason to vote UKIP.

  • fitzgerald

    Weimar Germany was not in a currency union, or anything like the EU. After WW2, Churchill called for a United States of Europe to prevent Weimar and its aftermath ever happening again.
    Greece could leave the EU, re-adopt the drachma and massively devalue. Will that help Greeks or prevent extremism? It didn’t work in Weimar Germany. Italy and Spain could go back to their old ways of ever decreasing in value the lira and peseta – and remain in the relative poverty they have experienced in modern times.
    The PIIGS, the EU and the World will be better off if the PIIGS continue to respect the value of money and their debts, and make the necessary reforms to stay fully in Europe and compete with wealthier neighbours. They were mostly once great nations, outshining even Britain in wealth, power and prestige, and cannot be said to be culturally confined to inefficiency, waste and perpetual devaluation.
    The EU, like any great human endeavour, has made mistakes and the euro is fraught with teething problems brought to a head by the global financial crisis. But eurosceptics offer no alternative vision to the EU for a future which clearly will be increasingly globalised, and where national sovereignty, particularly for the small and medium nation states which make up Europe, will be increasingly compromised and shared.
    We lack visionary leadership for the modern age, as evidenced by the rise of negative feelings towards Europe. We need a Churchill!

  • Charlie the Chump

    Also ignore Marxist Mason’s leftiy frettings, socialists like to see fascists (and / or racists)behind every corner, New Dawn or whatever are led by an ex-brothel keeper so pose little real threat.

  • Charlie the Chump

    It seems that the euro elites – including Cleggs mob – will ignore all real threats and drag the whole thing out as long as they can, they’ve managed this for 5 years already after all, so we wait for Gotterdamerung and pick up what’s left. Dear oh dear.

  • TomTom

    He is wrong. It is the stronger countries that should leave the Euro then the weaker Bloc could devalue against the stronger countries and devalue their sovereign debt vis a vis the Northern Currency Zone. They would continue to trade as Club Med EuroZone Economies and float the currency against the Northern Currency Bloc that way the stronger balance sheets would absorb the losses and the weaker Bloc could continue to trade as a Bloc. The Fox Suggestion is like straggling ships leaving a convoy one by one

    • Charlie the Chump

      one way or another they gotta go! Preferably en bloc.


    Extremism in Greece has already happened. Golden Dawn with a slight modification of the swastika on a red field for its flag received 5/6 % vote in both elections ie seats in Parliament. It is now on 14 % in polls. Greece is in the sixth year of depression.

  • RationalSpeculation

    With Greece having a number of hurdles to jump before getting more aid, a Grexit could be closer than we assume. The problem is that the Eurozone is too confident that its “firewall” will protect Spain and Italy – just the sort of challenge markets love to take on. has more

  • Chris

    Fox’s opinion is of no interest. Especially when he demonstrates so well that he has zero understanding.

  • Daniel Maris

    Your Fox has been shot. Get over it.

  • HooksLaw

    Co-operation with Norway seems sensible, but it has a tiny border in the far north with Russia, Sweden has a long border but it also builds its own aircraft and has over 100 fighters.
    This (Swedish popn. 9.4 million) ought to give a possibly independent Scotland (popn. 5.2 million ) something to think about.

    In effect what Fox is saying is that there needs to be an orderly break up of the Euro. There is no way the ‘weaker’ states will either admit their weakness nor will they co-operate together.

    • Wessex Man

      Just heard a German Economist on Radio 5 advancing the theory that if the Eurozone sees how Greece is suffering it will encourage others to ensure their economies are kept in order. Is that any way to run a “Union”? The sooner we leave this monumental mess the better, never mind countries leaving the Eurozone!

      • dalai guevara

        Yes, it baffles me that the people who argue to separate the fat tissue from the necrotic parts in the Eurozone are the same people who believe that Scotland has gone too far with its posturing, as it is supposedly a net beneficiary according to Barnett.

        Any logic in that?

    • fitzgerald

      Sweden has no border with Russia, but it is close! It’s long land border. is mostly with Norway, and a small part with Finland, and a bridge link to Denmark.
      There is some link between economics and strategic defence issues, but I do not see the direct relevance to the subject – states leaving the euro. The High North (Arctic) is of increasing strategic importance with global warming increasing access to resources and new trade routes. But probably of greater relevance to the subject is the risk of increasing instability, extremism, and conflict in Europe, that may arise from economic issues and any sense of international injustice in tackling them.

  • Daniel Maris

    You and others here have been predicting the demise of the EZ for the last two years. I don’t see why we have to think you are closer to seeing your dreams realised.

    Liam Fox is not someone who has anything serious to say about anything. He only ever puts stuff in a desperate attempt to claw his way back into the inner circle.

    • Charlie the Chump

      Fox has a great deal to say, much of it eminently sensible. His personal relationships however leave much to be desired . . . .

  • David B

    Will the politics or economics win. The politics says hold the line, the economics says cut the losses. Unfortunately the politicians are currently winning


    This embargo on the Benghazi story relegates Frasier’s refusal to publish the Nethergate scandal to lower league cowardice.

    • HooksLaw

      What embargo – you are wittering on about it endlessly.

      • Daniel Maris

        I think he means CBS choosing not to use a certain portion of an interview with Obama. Big deal.


    Still no word from the Speccy editorial staff or hacks about the Benghazi debacle. I just posted this on the renegade Wall:

    Melanie Phillips adds her considerable weight and reporting skills to the exposure of the Benghazi scandal:

    Excellent report! But I note that it is produced via her own blog, rather than a full blown column in the Daily Mail, which like the rest of the UK and US MSM (both press and TV), is still not reporting the fiasco as it is, i.e. a diabolical dereliction and cover up by the Obama Administration.

    Good on ya, Melanie. One suspects that it was done in the same spirit that caused the the agents on the ground to disobey stand-down orders and go it alone to try to rescue the Ambassador and his staff. I think she should apply for a job with Fox News, she would be a shoo-in.

    Brett Baier’s report has nailed the lies and infamy. Will the US electorate care? We can only wait and see.

    I see the Hawaii ‘tsunami’ has subsided. I wonder if “Frankenstorm” will also turn out to be another hype to deflect attention away from Obama’s electoral problems.

    Leon Panetta’s pedigree is interesting; he who thinks that “American troops should not be put in harms way if they a likely to get hurt”. Pity he didn’t think the same thing applied to the Embassy staff. An old commie from way back, ensconced in the White House to mind Obama and make sure ‘the project’ proceeds. A puppeteer if ever I saw one; with pup emitting from his Leftist gob.


      Hear Hear Frank!
      Do so-called journalists here and elsewhere read Mel and Steyn and think “God, I wish I had their brains and brawn” or do they raise a patronizing smirk and think “Well, is it any wonder they don’t get a Christmas card from Dave and Sam?!”

      Well, I’m glad you’ve been pushing this one with all your usual punch and elan, and even more grateful to the real journos in the States who are digging and dishing the disgraceful dirt on this shameful affair without giving a flying-f**k whether or not they’ll ever be invited back on 5Live to be interviewed by Richard Bacon.

    • Rhoda Klapp

      Two things here. First, the president sent his press spox out to lie, ditto his UN mbassador and the Sec of State. That matters. Second, the lack of coverage outside of Fox. (the station, not the disgraced ex-minister trying to get back in). This is anti-democracy in action, partial treatment of a story to suppress it during an election. It stinks. And yes, it wouldn’t hurt to run a post in the coffeee house, if only to make clear that the spectator knows what is going on, in contrast to the shallow coverage of the US election thus far.

      • Maidmarrion

        Tsk! Musn’t use the word “lie” particularly in relation to the fragrant Mrs Clinton!
        The word is “Misspoke”.

  • telemachus

    This party political broadcast on behalf the revanchist Fox flies in the face of the fact that Greece is surviving and has recently received the blessing of Furher Merkel.

    • chudsmania

      Yes , shame the people of Greece didnt get to see her ? Wonder why that was ? So the streets werent blocked off so thousands of working folk couldnt vent their anger to her face ? Only in your parallel universe could things be all sweet and rosy in Greece.

      • telemachus

        I did not say I approved
        Like Balls however I am a realist

        • Charlie the Chump

          = Loony Trot separated at birth from reality

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