Do you ever wonder why the European Union seems so chaotic? Just check out the farce being played out in the Slovakian capital Bratislava as I write. Slovakia is the last country left in the eurozone to vote on ratifying the EFSF ... the bail out fund that is supposed to guarantee individual members' debts - starting with Greece.
The vote was expected to be held earlier today and was, it was thought, a foregone conclusion in favor of creating the fund. But it has been postponed several times ... latest report is it may not be until midnight before anything happens.
Prime Minister Iveta Radicova, leader of Slovakia's four party coalition government decided to bang heads together and said the vote on ratifying the EFSF would be linked to a confidence motion in her government. Immediately the leader of one of the coalition groups said he would abstain ... For no reason related to the EFSF but to some local political issue.
There you have it: petty local politics being played in national parliaments when an international financial crisis is about to swamp you. That is the essential flaw in the European project.
Why should one small country out of 17 in the Euro have veto rights over this emergency measure?
It isn't just a unified fiscal policy the eurozone needs ... it needs a fully defined set of federal arrangements. Perhaps USAID could send copies of the Federalist papers to all the eurozone countries' parliamentarians.
This way forward, fellas! And to the cynics out there who ask what is so special about America's blueprint for governance:
The fruit of the federalist debate: the U.S. Constitution, worked pretty well until recently.
Anyway, the vote was expected at noon local time Bratislava, now the talk is of midnight. And if Radicova loses, there will be more parliamentary maneuvers and a new vote will be held later in the week ... that's another thing about the eurozone. It is the home of the political do-over.
And while the farce plays out, the markets will continue their assault on the eurozone.
FT is live blogging the vote.