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But all these are palliatives. The problem always returns to the question of European national economic boundaries. Hendrik Casimir, research director of The Netherlands' N.V. Philips' Lamp, says ironically: "If America really wants to do something, let it start introducing different currencies in all the 50 states and impose serious boundaries between them. If this experiment were tried, ten or 15 years from now we might well bridge the gap."
The real solution to Europe's largely self-inflicted technology gap is up to the Europeans. It is to mesh the Continent's money, manpower and management by tearing down the old nationalistic walls that divide its markets, restrict competition and protect inefficiency. That prescription is already obvious to almost everybody in the Atlantic Communityexcept, of course, De Gaulle. "We must become modern in our heads, not only in our gadgets," says Olivetti Managing Director Aurelio Peccei. "It is inconceivable that we in Europe are still bound by the nation-state concept. If we can get rid of these barriers, I see a tremendous upsurgeintellectual and psychological."
In the meantime, the only course for the U.S. seems to be to help narrow the gap in what limited ways it can, but keep up the competitive heat. Real progress often grows out of crises.