Building a United States of Europe
A massive banking crisis in the United States “could suddenly result in triggering European nations to unite as a new world power larger than either the Soviet Union or the U.S.” So wrote Herbert W. Armstrong, founder and editor in chief of the Plain Truth magazine, in 1984.
This was one of the most detailed descriptions of a forecast he’d made for decades.
On May 9, 1945, for example, just two days after Germany formally surrendered to the Allies, Mr. Armstrong spoke to listeners of his World Tomorrow radio program in San Francisco. Germany was utterly and completely ruined. Yet Mr. Armstrong spoke of “a European union” that would emerge out of the rubble. This union, he said, would be led by Germany and ultimately become a “United States of Europe.”
Compare his forecasts with the news we see today. “Are We on the Threshold of a United States of Europe?” asked a headline in Real Clear World last week. The president of France is calling for a new eurozone government. Spiegel Online said Friday: “The unnerving bargaining over the latest Greece bailout program has led the leaders of the monetary union to conclude that the eurozone has to become more tightly joined together politically.”
The United States of Europe that Mr. Armstrong spoke of 70 years ago is being built right now.
Pushing for Unity
“What threatens us is not too much Europe, but too little Europe,” wrote French President François Hollande on July 19. He called for a new parliament to govern the eurozone, a new eurozone government that would have its own budget.
The idea of closer integration has strong support across Europe. Guy Verhofstadt, one of the top leaders in the European Parliament, tweeted his support of a “political union” during the latest iteration of the Greek crisis.
Most importantly, it has strong support in Berlin. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble called for a eurozone parliament and a “European budget commissioner” a year ago—almost the same recommendations as Hollande. Just two days before Hollande’s article, Spiegel Online published this interview with Schäuble.
“We have to move further toward establishing a political union,” he told the newsmagazine, calling for EU nations to hand over parts of their taxation and spending powers to Brussels. Schäuble is arguably the most powerful man in Germany, if not the European Union, right now. His views carry weight.
But it is more than merely people pushing for unity. The design of the euro itself is also forcing it. As the Trumpet and many others have reported, the euro was designed to cause a crisis. A common currency cannot work without some kind of common government.
“If some form of federalization comes about, it will not be because the French especially desire it, but because the logic of the euro ultimately demands it,” wrote Matthew Del Santo in his article “Are We on the Threshold of a United States of Europe?” Spiegel concluded that “[i]f the economic government fails, so will the euro.”
City A.M., a British business newspaper, used the same logic, writing that “for the single currency to survive over the longer term, euro countries will have to integrate further, involving greater fiscal and political coordination. If this doesn’t happen, the eurozone will disintegrate.”
“Despite the short-term costs of keeping Greece inside, eurozone leaders have shown themselves to be unwilling to accept disintegration,” they continued. “So the logical conclusion is that further integration must follow.”
The plans for European unity go much further than rhetoric. The groundwork for this unity is being prepared in the most concrete way possible: plans for a eurozone tax.
At first sight, this may not seem so important. But money and power are intimately tied together. In Britain, for example, there was no decision to have a man called “prime minister” take charge of running the country. Instead, Robert Walpole gained control of how the nation’s tax money was spent—and thus became “prime minister” by default. Because he controlled the money, he controlled the nation. The term prime minister was first used as an insult by those who thought Walpole had gained too much power.
In more recent times, we’ve seen this in Greece. Germany controlled the money loaned to Greece—and so they also controlled Greece.
“[I]n Brussels and Berlin alike, financial experts are devising plans to provide the Eurogroup with the same tool that has proven to be so successful throughout history: its own tax,” wrote Spiegel. It continues:
If the plans were implemented, it would constitute the breaking of a taboo for the Continent. The people are used to the fact that some powers are shifted to Brussels as part of European unification. But there is one thing even the most devoted proponents of Europe had shied away from until now: giving the EU the right to impose taxes, a power many felt the member states should retain. It had long been a given that this was something the European people would never accept.
But with European leaders shuttling regularly back and forth to Brussels to attend crisis meetings on an almost weekly basis, public opinion has shifted.
Del Santo also notes the power of some kind of euro tax system. “[A] common eurozone treasury, financed by indirect taxes” would be “a classic compromise for nascent federations (for example, the 19th-century U.S., the German Empire after 1871, and the Australian Commonwealth before 1942),” he writes.
Former Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti currently heads a task force dedicated to finding ways to strengthen the eurozone’s economy. Spiegel reports that in July, Monti suggested that his task force considers a euro tax. Spiegel claims that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker supports the idea.
Germany in Charge
A push toward a superstate still has its opponents, however. German Chancellor Angela Merkel appears to be a skeptic. The German Council of Economic Experts, official government advisers, are cautious.
There are many complicated reasons for opposition, but the objection of these Germans is simple. If Germany signs up to a democratic superstate, then southern Europe can vote itself access to more of Germany’s money.
Germany will not support a United States of Europe unless there are rules in place that stop this from happening. And since Germany is the de facto leader of Europe right now, there will be no United States of Europe unless it happens on Germany’s terms.
Del Santo describes the likely arrangement. Requirements for sound financing of national governments would be written into the eurozone constitution. There would be real consequences for those who break those laws. In return, the eurozone would form a common treasury, with some shared tax revenues and common debt. This would give southern Europe access to more money. But as Del Santo points out:
With direct taxes still collected by national governments, and with Germany remaining the biggest of those, ultimate financial firepower would remain in the hands of the Bundestag, meaning the German chancellor would remain Europe’s de facto leader for as long as Germany remained Europe’s strongest economy.
For the same reason, the independent European Central Bank would also be beyond the control of the eurozone parliament, but not much less heedful of the German chancellor than today.
Del Santo’s historical analysis and comparison between the unification of the Germany under Bismarck and the unification of the eurozone today is worth reading in full.
A Smaller Union
Even with Germany’s objections overcome, uniting the 19 nations of the eurozone into a single superstate is a tall order. Which is why the French president suggested that a smaller group of nations form a “vanguard” and press ahead, even if other members of the eurozone aren’t ready to take this step. His prime minister, Manuel Valls, suggested that the six founding members of the EU—France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg—could be part of this group.
This too may be part of Germany’s agenda. Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis recently explained how he saw Germany’s aims:
Schäuble believes that the eurozone is not sustainable as it is. He believes there has to be some fiscal transfers, some degree of political union. He believes that for that political union to work without federation, without the legitimacy that a properly elected federal parliament can render, can bestow upon an executive, it will have to be done in a very disciplinary way.
And he said explicitly to me that a Grexit is going to equip him with sufficient terrorizing power in order to impose upon the French that which Paris has been resisting: a degree of transfer of budget-making powers from Paris to Brussels.
Some European leaders have questioned Varoufakis’s integrity. But when he comes to describing Germany’s rule over the eurozone, he is far from alone in his statements. The German news site Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten recently wrote (translation from Frances Coppola on Forbes.com):
The humiliation of Greece at the summit was not an accident. It is part of an agenda that Wolfgang Schäuble has long pursued: He considers the EU in its current form nonfunctional. He is committed to establishing a close political union. This is only possible with selected countries. At the end will be seen who fits with Germany and who does not. Grexit is already planned. Other states will follow. The tablecloth is cut. Irrevocably.
The shrinking of the eurozone, then, also ties in to Germany’s demands. It will take “terrorizing power” to get the other nations to agree to form a superstate with Germany at the head.
This shrinking is also part of the forecasts made far in advance by Herbert W. Armstrong. All along, he said this superstate would be made up of 10 nations or groups of nations. In the 1960s, when the Common Market expanded to 10 nations, Mr. Armstrong wrote that “[t]hese are not the same 10 nations that will go together in one political union of European nations.” Once Britain joined, he stated consistently that “Britain will be no part” of the coming European superpower. “The Common Market is preliminary” to this superstate, he wrote.
Germany, he wrote “will be the heart and core of the united Europe that will revive the Roman Empire.”
For years, he also said that Eastern European nations would also be part of this superstate. In 1956, with the Iron Curtain firmly splitting Europe, he wrote: “[S]ome of the Balkan nations are going to tear away from behind the Iron Curtain. Russia has lost already, to all appearances, Tito’s Yugoslavia. Russia probably will lose still more of her Eastern European satellites.”
The superstate that we’re seeing European leaders attempt to build matches exactly what Herbert W. Armstrong described decades ago.
There is still much that is yet to happen. As Varoufakis stated, it will require more crises and nations being forced out of the euro until the 10 nations are desperate enough to go all the way to form a superstate. But in the early stages of this state, we can already see Mr. Armstrong proved right.
If you’ve never heard of Mr. Armstrong’s forecasts, you can find out how and why he was able to predict the rise of this state before the dust had even settled on the ruins of the Third Reich.
Millions heard these forecasts, but most have forgotten them or dismissed them. They need to reacquaint themselves with what he said would happen.
Our free booklet He Was Right details Herbert W. Armstrong’s forecasts for Europe and the rest of the world. Request it, read it, and compare it with the world you see around you. As every year goes by, he is being proved more and more astonishingly right.