They believed in those pathetic dreams in Europe. In the aftermath of World War II, facing the prospect of Soviet domination and wanting to keep the defeated Germans from completing a World War trilogy, the European community, aided by the United States, created the European Coal and Steel Community. A federal Europe was the goal; the original plans included a European Defense Community and a European Political Community, both of which fell through. Eventually, this grew into the European Economic Community.
The European Union was the successor to the EEC, formed in 1993. The current EU members include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, German, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
There was only one problem with this notion: These states had little in common. They did not share a common language; they didn't share common customs (other than, perhaps, a deep-rooted history of anti-Semitism); they didn't even share basic economic principles. This created potential for tremendous conflict within the Union.
The most obvious success for the EU, however, was the Euro -- the official currency for Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. It is the second largest reserve currency on the planet, after the dollar.
With the integrated economic community, however, came a serious problem: If any of the member states spent beyond their capacities, the others would have to pick up the slack. And that's precisely what happened. Greece is bankrupt. So is Spain. So is Ireland. The bleed-over is corrupting the economies of the other Euro members.
This week, the Euro members got together to attempt to solve the crisis. Many of the members are no longer interested in bailing out Greece -- they are sick of the redistributive socialism of the eurozone. They don't want to have to create slush funds for the different countries to raid based on how much they feel like spending. The grand Lennon-esque experiment is failing. As the Financial Times reported, "officials described mounting concerns that the summit will fall well short of market expectations."