In Germany Thomas Cook is being saved with EU support. Here we let it go.

Posted on

As the Guardian notes, Thomas Cook executives face a grilling in parliament this morning.

In Germany there is a different story. There Reuters note:

Thomas Cook German airline wins EU okay for 380 million German loan

And they add:

EU competition regulators on Monday approved a 380-million-euro German bridging loan to Thomas Cook’s German airline Condor, saying the measure would ensure the continuation of air transport services.

Condor ran into a liquidity problem after its parent company and the world’s oldest travel firm Thomas Cook collapsed last month.

The European Commission said the loan will either have to be repaid after six months or Condor will have to be restructured to ensure its long-term viability.

In other words, the UK government need not have let Thomas Cook fail. It could have guaranteed a loan that meant it did not have to fall to ABTA, which is guaranteed by the UK government, to spend more than the value of the required loan guarantee to repatriate vast numbers of people who could have instead continued their holidays uninterrupted whilst an orderly reorganisation of Thomas Cook could have been arranged. And EU law permitted that.

It's often said that the EU obstructs commercial matters to promote competition: the reality is it very clearly takes reality into account. This is a case in point. It's the UK government and free-market ideologues who promote the idea that the EU is a problem. Very often it is not.  And the left should take note.