German reporters were thrown out of the European Parliament back in 2008. The reason? They filmed politicians signing in on time sheets and then leaving. The practice enhanced Members of the European Parliament’s pay to more than the German Chancellor’s, while their true work rate was pitiful in comparison – and in absolute terms. Some Members of European Parliament (MEP) were so eager not to be filmed by the German TV crew they physically ran into walls trying to escape.
It made for great TV.
We don’t really blame the politicians though. Brussels isn’t a nice place to stick around in.
Several years later, the Members of European Parliament are in the limelight again, expected to solve their fellow politicians’ fiscal problems. Once again, they are bouncing off walls – this time figuratively, as far as we know. Alongside them are central bankers, IMFers and gaggles of other geese ruffling each other’s feathers.
What’s odd about MEP messing in fiscal affairs like the EFSF is that the European Parliament doesn’t really deal in fiscal problems on a regular basis, if at all. (Apart from appearing as an expense on the books of the various countries that is.) The IMF has a track record of ruining countries. And central bankers’ low interest rates were what encouraged the politicians’ spending in the first place.
So do any of them have any experience? Credibility? Ability? Nah. But they are looking important.