Friday, December 11, 2009

ECB threatens to impose new crisis in the Baltics

The Baltic states risk being sucked into a second debt-fuelled crisis if their governments fail to impose austerity measures that support their euro pegs, the European Central Bank (ECB) said. The Baltics suffered a deeper economic slump than the rest of the EU because tight euro pegs led to asset bubbles, the ECB said in a confidential document obtained by ''Bloomberg News''. “But really, we created the last crisis, and we can do it again if we want,” said an ECB spokesman, Jacques van der Fuffle. He explained “we enforced the Maastricht Criteria on those silly Balts, so they use the Euro as a de facto currency, and their central bankers have to sit and watch, cause we control the money supply, not them!" he said, "and the funny part is that the other EU member states completely ignore the Maastrich Criteria, and we do too!”
“Oh, Jean-Claude is a real practical joker,” said van der Fuffle, referring to the ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet. “He and I were sitting around the bar in Brussels pounding lambics the other day and he says to me ‘Jacques, I’m bored. Whaddya say let’s threaten the Balts with another crisis, unless they close a bunch of their bad old Baltic hospitals, fire teachers, lay off cops, cancel unemployment benefits, and jack up taxes.’ And then I said ‘wait, and stop paying pensioners!’ Boy did he laugh at that.” Asked if fiscal discipline should be a primary goal of any member state, van der Fuffle replied “Hell no! This is the EU you’re talking about. You know the average deficit among the EU member states today is 6.9%, and here we are bellowing at the Balts. And they don’t even get it! Don’t those people read the papers? I love this job. Want a beer?” he asked.

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