Europe: where are the big ideas?

Debt, sober growth and the welfare state will form a Bermuda triangle around the countries of Europe in coming years.”

That was a quote from Jacques Delors, thanks to Charlemagne at The Economist:

“the former European Commission boss who is revered around Brussels as a near demi-god, had some very tough things to say to El País, the Spanish daily.The interview offers fresh evidence for a pet theory of mine, that only federalists and Eurosceptics see the European Union with any clarity of vision, even if they come to different conclusions. The moderate middle view is the one I find unconvincing: the “glass half full” statements of Brussels based diplomats, Eurocrats and spokesmen.”

(…) here is the problem: Spain has put lots and lots of money into renewable energy, subsidising huge wind and solar farms all over the shop. Spain has also had tougher and more conservative banking regulation than almost anyone else. And Spain is currently staggering under the burden of something close to 20% unemployment. So of the many things you can say about Spain’s experience as a leader in banking regulation and wind farms, you cannot say it has that many lessons to give its neighbours on job creation.