Open Europe Blog


Emerging from his bureaucratic hole in Brussels, former Labour MEP Richard Corbett made an appearance on yesterday’s Newsnight to discuss the ongoing eurozone crisis (joined by a Greek communist and Tory MP Douglas Carswell – the discussion wasn’t exactly smooth). Corbett is one of those old EU federalists still hanging around and clinging on. Having lost his MEP seat in 2009, he now works for EU President Herman Van Rompuy. And last night Corbett did his best to keep up the appearance that he hadn’t been completely found out by the eurozone crisis. You almost felt a bit of sympathy for him as he tried to explain “actually the euro as a whole is strong.”

Corbett, you see, is a strong contender for the not so flattering prize of “the worst eurozone prediction ever” (and keep in mind that the competition is pretty tough). In 2009, Corbett kindly informed readers of the Bradford Telegraph that,

“The euro has been a rock of stability, as illustrated by the contrasting fortunes of Iceland and Ireland. Joining the single currency would be a major step.”

Right Richard. Fast forward to 2011.
Iceland’s borrowing costs (10yr bonds): 2.9%
Ireland’s borrowing costs (10yr bonds): 12.3%

For his profound knowledge of economics and monetary policy, Corbett now holds a position in Van Rompuy’s court, as an “adviser” to the Man himself.

Why does that make us feel even more nervous about the future of the euro?

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