Dr King's appointment to Brussels is welcome
Stabroek News
January 5, 2002

Dear Editor,

I do not believe Dr. Kenneth King's appointment as an ambassador based in Brussels as long on symbolism and short on substance. A great political move? Yes, but nothing to do with tokenism or pacifying a particular race.

Despite his previous association with the Desmond Hoyte's PNC administration, Dr. King has demonstrated the possession of a wide range of feasible ideas to help expedite Guyana's economic recovery and growth. His National Development Strategy writings in the Stabroek News attest to this. So his appointment is a welcome, perhaps long overdue move.

One of the immense benefits of his appointment, is its timeliness as it coincides with the advent of the European euro (new currency) which may have greater global implications than the world can ever begin to imagine. Another important benefit is that he will be based in a country that is a member of the European Union, indicating easy and ready access by Guyana to whatever financial, economic or technical aid the Union may want to offer poor nations.

With his insightful and analytical skills as an economist who grasps what Guyana urgently needs today, Guyana stands to gain, and this will have a lot to say about the usefulness of political inclusiveness when everything is at stake and we have the human resources to do better.

As for the euro itself, I do believe that apart from Guyana's timely move, this new currency should be viewed in a wider context of the kind of change that is taking place and the inevitable and eventual emergence of a one world political and economic system.

It may sound far fetched, but all of mankind's efforts with individual governments and political alliances and economic blocs have failed miserably at trying to bridge the gap between rich and poor nations, even though there is more than enough resources for everyone to get a piece.

The currency move by the European Union, therefore, may not only be reflective of the possible "unified" thinking of other nations, but it also may be the beginning of a new superpower since the collapse of the former Soviet Union. In fact, not since the old Roman Empire has Europe experienced the use of one currency, and there is widespread speculation that we are witnessing the revival of a revised version of that Roman Empire.

While the world waits to see if member nations of the ASEAN, OPEC, NAFTA, OAU, or CARICOM groups will follow Europe's single currency initiative, the world also awaits the follow up moves the European initiative will produce.

French President, Jacques Chirac, in his New Year's Day message, said, "The euro is a victory for Europe. After a century of being torn apart, of wars and tribulations, our continent is finally affirming its identity and power in peace, unity and stability."

If there is a cue in the choice of words "affirming its identity and power," then it has to be that the European Union is on its way to being America's equal, with both economic and, eventually, military influence. It means if China had superpower ambitions, and Russia was thinking of making a comeback, then they both have their work cut out.

It would be interesting to see how Europe will use its economic influence in world affairs, compared with America's. A few weeks ago, the Union sent envoys to help find a resolution to the 16 month old Mideast conflict; a goal now being attempted for the umpteenth time by America.

It also would be interesting to see whether the Union will craft a new Constitution and elect a single political leader, akin to the United States. And whether it will continue to play a secondary role to America on international issues, especially in areas of conflict resolution.

That three of the Union's member nations, namely Britain, Sweden and Denmark, have not as yet agreed to have the euro in circulation, certainly cannot stop this tide from flowing in the direction it is at this time. Even if, as some people are speculating, the United States, perhaps deeply concerned about the long term implications of the euro, is working quietly behind the scenes in support of these three dissidents.

While the advent of the euro may give rise to lots of speculation, it obviously will give rise to a lot of hard questions. It would, therefore, do well for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear and a spirit to discern, that this development has a special place in the context of human history and the role of government, and it should not be easily ignored.

Yours faithfully,

Emile Mervin