'Our structural growth rate is not high enough to create jobs and sustain our social model', says EU President Herman Van Rompuy. The Lord loves a sinner come to repentance - that's what in excess of 20 percent youth unemployment and the mass importation of people who still believe (for the first generation, at least) they should work for a living has been indicating for lo, these many years.
So, what's more important? Jobs, or the 'social model'? German Chancellor Angela Merkel is trying to sell a preemptive austerity package to her disgruntled voters as a necessary step in order to preserve the 'social model', which I'm tolerably sure faithfully reflects the universal view of the EU bureaucracy.
If the 'European Idea' is indeed that statist parasitism is more important than revenue-generating work, it cannot survive. The good - an end to the nationalist rivalries that destroyed Europe's leading role in the world - will go down the pan long before the superstructure of cosseted, unaccountable officials is demolished.
If, as Brown believed, government taxing and spending generates a greater than 1:1 multiplier effect on economic activity, then the 'social model' would be a miracle of self-sustaining growth. If, on the other hand, it is less than 1:1, then it is a drag on the economy. Events - as Van Rompuy has very belatedly discovered - unarguably support the latter hypothesis.
In Britain, it seems likely that even the mild austerity now required will reveal that all the economic growth of the last decade was artificial. That's every single one of the million jobs said to have been created during the period, most of which seem to have gone to immigrants.
Meanwhile, as the British government agonizes over reducing projected spending by £6.2 billion, not a word about the £8 billion that Britain is to contribute to support a monetary unit to which Britain does not subscribe, and the eurocracy is determined to ruin the City. All in the name of the 'European Idea'.
A hard rain's gonna fall.