Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty spelled it out: "The European countries, including Germany, did not support the United States financially when it had its crisis in 2008. What we've been encouraging the eurozone countries to do is to deal with this issue of a firewall and recapitalizing their banks themselves. These are not poor countries. ... So I would respectfully suggest that they first step up to the plate themselves before they pass the plate to others."
Like their citizens, these nations will quickly grab whatever welfare handout is offered to them by a foolish provider. Germany, the only truly healthy crew member aboard Starship Broketastic, alone and surrounded by the cash-eating undead, continues to sigh its disappointment.
Europe had another con up its sleeve to scam some cash. It was going to play the environmental card yet again and charge carbon taxes on any flights that get close enough to a European airport to make use of the washroom facilities. Europe wanted a self-declaration on carbon spewing from each of the airlines by March 31. Not only did China watch the deadline sail by, but it sugarcoated its position so that it oozed with diplomatic tact: "Chinese airlines are unanimous on this. We won't provide the data," said Wei Zhenzhong, secretary general of the China Air Transport Association. "We would not like to see a situation of 'you hold up my planes and I hold yours.'"
I'm not sure that I'd like to find out what China means by "holding up" European planes, but Reuters reports that China already has delayed $14 billion worth of European Airbus orders because of the carbon tax.
It's unclear why European leaders figured China would suddenly be on board with the environmental movement when it's been exempt all along, precisely so the First World could outsource its manufacturing there and play the role of holier-than-thou environmental moralist.
Europe is finally being forced to lie down in the bed it made for itself, and probably isn't feeling very well. Hopefully it isn't taking any vacation time to do it, or the IMF will be getting double-billed.
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