4 JANUARY 1992, Page 22

Crash course

Sir: John Laughland's devastating article on Germany's drive to Euro-federalism (`European union the German way', 30 November) points out that the Germans contribute 68 per cent of the Community's net income. This alone will ensure their dominance of a federal 'Europe'. The Rus- sians have just demonstrated what happens in such circumstances. The Soviet Union was completely dependent on Russian money which Yeltsin withheld. Gorbachev could not pay the bills, was forced to beg funds from the Russians and finally received them only on condition that the union ceased to exist.

It was the inherent weakness of federalist fund-raising which caused the fiscal and monetary destabilisation of Germany and Italy and those countries' descent into fas- cism. Federal systems with no organic loyal- ties either disintegrate or dominate.

It is the very nature of the Delors-Kohl- Mitterrand 'Europe' which ensures there will be dominating and dominated, out- siders and insiders, free trade for the few but not for the many. The Germans seem incapable of growing up as a mature nation, trading freely and accepting without collec- tivist interventions and controls the fruits of their freedom. Within the ERM the Ger- mans have flourished with their perpetually undervalued deutschmark but only at the cost of the devastated economies of Italy and France. Britain is now on the same road to strikes, riots and economic break- down which we witness in France.

Germany, as an independent state with a freely convertible currency, trading openly with other nations, would not need to organise and control and impose its mone- tary, fiscal and trading systems on others. But Germans seem constitutionally inca- pable of such liberal logic and so Europe, led by Germany, is returning to the danger- ous and debilitating collectivism and corpo- ratism of the 1930s.

Virtually all the characteristics of invest- ment and financial markets in 1929 have now been reproduced — ironically through deliberate government interventions. Until recently in Britain there was one exception — there was no equivalent to the pound's link to the gold standard. But now, after ERM entry, even that procrustean control has been imposed. The economic crash is inevitable. If I were a communist revolu- tionary or a fascist I would be gleeful in my anticipation of the political consequences.

Rodney E.B. Atkinson

60 Ashbourne Court, Woodside Park Road, London N12