The most important news coming from the European Union does not concern this or that diplomatic initiative from Belgrade, but has to do with ideas on how to help the European banks, and has to do with another burning issue – helping member countries and candidate countries (both real and potential ones) avoid the danger of bankruptcy. Certain countries, not only those in transition but also those who rely on their banks for loans, are facing borrowing difficulties, either because they cannot find lenders or because the prices of loans are too high. They are all faced with growing fiscal deficits, because virtually all the economies are entering recession. Therefore, the question is why should poorer countries – mostly the ones from the Eastern part of the EU – be saving, when the richer ones, some of which are dealing with bigger problems, are raising public spending? Well, if those poorer countries cannot borrow money themselves, why shouldn’t the EU borrow it for them?

The first question, the one about saving and spending, can be answered quite easily. There is nothing strange about the poor saving more than the rich, especially if they are already in debt. Simply because there are differences in wealth. Right now even the wealthier states are having a hard time borrowing, because the loans are fewer and the conditions for getting them are stricter. The countries in transition which borrow money, whether they are EU members or candidates, have to be ready to pay at least 3-4 percent more than, say, Germany. This is where the idea of the EU borrowing for member countries came from. The problem is that the EU does not have the budge to take out these loans. This would require Germany, for example, to take on the bank or state debts of others.

Peščanik, 26.02.2009.