Because of my work, it was the European Common Agricultural Policy which puzzled me from 1972 onwards. The whole thing was so utterly strange in comparison to the common sense system we had before. It was not until 2002 when I received a copy of “European Economic Community”, published in Berlin in 1942, that I really grasped the ideological framework behind it. I translated the introduction and lead papers which form part of this pamphlet.
In 2017 I recorded an interview with Lord Walsingham, who was a Third Secretary in the Foreign Office of 1950 when Britain stayed out of the European project. He revealed that British Intelligence then knew of the hostile intent towards Britain of former fascists and Nazis in the post war French & German governments – their plan of subsidising each other’s heavy industries when in competition with Britain, to weaken our defence capability and assure their eventual ascendancy over the continent of Europe.
Like Lord Walsingham, the perspective of years leads me to the view that today’s EU is not “all a Nazi plot” but that it was heavily influenced from its beginnings by such authoritarian ideas and that has contributed to the alien ethos with which British people have never really been at home.
On a recent visit to Greece, I found that all sorts of people blamed Berlin rather than Brussels for the terrible austerity which EU policy has forced upon them. Back home, I wrote about this to a Greek colleague, a business executive, pointing out the ideas of the German government of 1942 about management of European currencies in the post war era. The exchange rate of the euro gives Germany the export advantage of a currency of relatively low value, compared with Germany’s highly capitalised, productive economy. For Greece and other “Club Med” countries with smaller, less developed resources, the euro exchange rate is far too high for them to be able to export their way out of their predicament.
My Greek friend replied “It is clear now to many Greeks and Europeans that Germany is responsible for the economic plunder of Greece. What happened to Greece was not an accident but a carefully made plan on the part of the always patient, ruthless and very scholastic Germans. It seems that they learned well their lessons from the two previous World Wars. This time Germany managed to conquer Europe without firing a single shot. Unfortunately Greece now (as it was then too) is suffering more casualties than any other European country….”
That is how things are seen in Greece today.