European failure

From wire reports
Posted July 04, 2012, at 6:55 p.m.

It would be incorrect to conclude that the formation of a new government in Athens categorically pre-empted the looming Greek tragedy which threatened the entire euro zone. Europe is by no means safe, although the Greek electorate’s narrow pro-euro preference is clearly better than the alternative that would have triggered potentially catastrophic chain reactions.

It’s a relief but at best a very temporary one. The pro-bailout coalition doesn’t represent a decisive turning point. It’s merely a brief intermission in the unfolding drama. Europe was spared an immediate crash but the deep divide remains between its wealth-generating northern economies and the welfare-reliant south.

Hence initial upbeat responses were short-lived. Early gains for the euro and Spanish and Italian bonds soon evaporated. The continuing plotline promises hair-raising twists and turns. …

Dangerous as the Greek situation still is, it may — hyperbole and doomsday scenarios notwithstanding — prove to be the least of Europe’s worries.

… What will ensue in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland is anyone’s guess.

This is foremost a glaring European failure. The EU superstructure, in which separate economies are excessively interconnected, couldn’t prevent countries with over-sized public sectors from cooking up their books to the European collective’s detriment.

The entire euro zone may yet be terminally destabilized.

Unfortunately, no facile formula exists for the EU’s greatest-ever predicament.

In such circumstances there may be no sidelines and no safe vantage points.

The Jerusalem Post (June 28)

Court’s careful work

Most Americans no doubt learned that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key provisions of Arizona’s controversial immigration law on a 5-3 vote. Or they may have heard the court upheld one of the most significant portions of the law.

Depending on their political perspective and views on immigration, they may curse the court for its liberalism and its acceptance of the claims of the Obama administration. Or they might blast the court for its right-wing ways and its willingness to uphold states’ rights, even if they lead to racial profiling.

But Americans of all political persuasions should applaud the court’s careful consideration of this issue and its refusal to simply accept what either side was saying as gospel.

In fact, the Roberts Court, like its predecessors, is doing exactly what is expected of the judicial branch of government. It has acted as a neutral arbiter of what passes constitutional muster, not as a partisan cheerleader.

Evidence of this is in the vote split. While the main decision was the 5-3 vote, conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and frequent swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy both sided with the more liberal members of the court to reach the majority.

Also, the three dissenting justices each wrote separate opinions, explaining that they dissented on different parts of the main decision, and for different reasons.

However, the court sent a warning to Arizona authorities, saying there could be further litigation if the law is used to allow harassment or unreasonable detention of people for minor crimes or… creating new crimes for immigrants who fail to carry appropriate documents or who seek work when they are here illegally — were pre-empted by federal immigration law.

The Daily Sentinel, Grand Junction, Colo. (June 28)

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/07/04/opinion/european-failure/ printed on September 20, 2014