Last week, the European Community was handed an excellent opportunity to get rid of the hooligans who have been vandalizing their cities, disturbing their sports matches and assaulting their citizens for decades. The ruthless and arrogant English voted to leave the EU, which had supplied them with endless solutions for centuries of British backward centricity, from metric system to monetary unit. The English believe that they will do better on their own, but the worldwide financial markets show no confidence in any of their bravado; economic implosion in England is likely and in many ways happening already.
For the remaining twenty-seven EU members, new opportunities are beckoning. Turkey, Ukraine, and even Russia are in the waiting room and are becoming somewhat restless. Yes, they would all have to adjust to standardization, legal systems, preferably Napoleonic law, but such, by the lack of anything else, would supplement massive infrastructure to their society and economy. The benefit of goods and services for an attractive price would be a godsend for Europe.
Angela Merkel of Germany seems ideally positioned to play the Eastern European card and should start a charm offensive; there is little to lose and much to gain. The East-Germany experience of Bonn- Germany comes in handy and is strong evidence of diligent and consistent management.
Demonizing President Erdogan of Turkey and Putin of Russia seems to be a favorite pastime by the western press, especially by inflating relatively small local incidents that could easily be handled with diplomacy. Remarkable is how eager the European public is to portray these influential leaders as ruthless and corrupt tyrants; the social media shift into overtime and overdrive at every opportunity.
In the meantime, Russian businesspeople and their families are carefully barred from entering most of the EU countries and Caribbean affiliated entities. Their trade is routed via a maze of offshore companies since, either no trade agreements exist, or they still date from the Cold War era.
By all means, the English should continue to drive on the lefts side of the road, continue to refuse the metric system, drink watery beer, and from now on, focus their destructive hooliganism on their dilapidated towns and cities. In another twenty years, the EU could easily turn England, or the leftover ruins, into a game park for school outings.
By Jacob Gelt Dekker
Opinion columnist for Curaçao Chronicle