The Financial Times interviews Martin Shulz, president of the European Parliament, on the state of play re Euroland. Gideon Rachman expects the usual litany of cliches, but is surprised by Shulz's apparent frankness:The EU is really threatened by failure... I think we should not underestimate the dramatic reality.... I have the feeling that people are not taking sufficient account of what is going on in Europe... the moment people withdraw their support from an idea, the idea is finished. Martin SchulzQuite so. Some might suggest that the reason why there is diminishing support for the Euro project is because the negative consequences of this grandiose federalism are becoming increaingly explicit to voters from Limassol, Limerick, Leipzig. Naturally, the president of the European parliament does not identify stultifying bureacracy and an untenable currency union as the root of the problem:Conveniently enough, Schulz's proposed solution to this crisis of public confidence is to grant a much larger role to the European Parliament.What about France? According to Shulz, it is experiencing a deep psychological crisis created by a justified mistrust for a political system that has created a political class that is widely disconnected from the rest of the country.As an analysis of the 21st century relationship between the citizen and the state, some might say this eloquent critique extends beyond Gallic shores.....Since this is an FT dinner date, it's always good to know who picks up the tab:Shulz had said that he must pay, explaining that parliamentarians are not allowed to accept hospitality. I counter explained that while our guests choose the restaurant, FT journalists are obliged to pay. It's one of those British rules...www.ft.com
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