Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Europe's fear of globalization

That Laxmi Mittal is a man of steel, in more ways than one, had long been established. His steely resolve is what exactly is the need of the hour if he has to see his bold bid on European steel maker Arcelor through. Reactions to Mittal Steel's take over attempt for its nearest rival has been hysterically hostile in Europe which is not very surprising. Europe has always been very hypocritical in its approach towards globalization even though globalization is the ideology which has been primarily responsible for its prosperity. It is good as long as it helps European companies acquire assets and markets abroad, but loses its allure if the very same companies are in danger of being gulped by bigger & better rivals. The excuses offered by the French government, of job losses and that Mittal Steel is majority family owned, are difficult to be qualified more than hogwash. Europe has to understand that globalization is not a one way street unlike the old colonial times, when european companies destroyed the local industries of their colonial conquests. The world can no longer function according to the wishes of european politicians, if they expect other countries to open up their markets and assets then they have to reciprocate. Unduly extreme and protectionist measures are going to isolate Europe from rest of the world which in the long run will prove counter productive. In the interest of a better world, let globalization be.

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