[A]usterity without political buy-in is extremely difficult. While an outside commissioner could force austerity-friendly legislation, getting the laws passed is but the first step; what happens next? Do the public servants actually follow through and enforce these laws, identifying spending cuts rather than just stonewalling? Will the public actually pay more in taxes, rather than just finding even more creative forms of tax evasion? No matter how much power is officially vested in the German budget commissioner, at the end of the day a lot will still depend on changes in the behaviour of individual taxpayers and government workers.
Fantastic conserative irony that the utopian project of European Union, designed to end European nationalism for ever, has only ended up intensifying it. And for the first time in decades, other Europeans see the Germans as a threat to their sovereignty.
(Photo: The Headquarters of the Bank of Greece are vandalised following violent protests which took place against the Government's austerity plans, February 13, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Thousands of demonstrators clashed with police as the Greek parliament approved drastic and unpopular austerity measures aimed at saving Greece from bankruptcy. By Milos Bicanski/Getty Images.)