Monday, July 27, 2015
CRIPPLED GREECE BROKE THE EUROPEAN UNION'S BACKBONE
By Joseph M. Cachia, Malta
“If governments let themselves be fully bound by the decisions of their parliaments without protecting their own freedom to act, a breakup of Europe would be a more probable outcome than deeper integration.”
Following the resounding “No” from Greek voters in a referendum on austerity, which could send the country crashing out of the Eurozone, European leaders were scrambling in total disarray and confusion.
Greece may be ‘broke’, but it surely broke the backbone of the European Union. It may have lost the economic, financial and political battle, but not the war.
Whatever the EU’s response to the courageous Greek “No”, this daring vote blasts wide open the volatility and frailty of the Union. Another bailout would shatter all propositions and self-imposed regulations of the euro-zone, while its negation would send Greece tumbling out of the euro-zone and possibly out of the EU and NATO!
Is the prophecy of the ‘The New York Times’ coming to fruition? “Economy Shows Cracks in European Union”, it had predicted. “But even many committed Europeanists believe that the alliance is failing the test…. and they have rushed to protect jobs in their home markets at the expense of those in other member countries”.
“We are in a moment of a very severe crisis,” said Joschka Fischer, a Green Party politician and former German foreign minister. “We have a traumatic lack of leadership; we are caught right in the middle by the flood.”
The strains are evident in the way countries have worked to bail out their own banks and rescue national factories of global automobile companies.
Divisions are also evident between northern Europe and southern Europe, with more fiscally responsible countries like Germany only reluctantly promising to help floundering economies like those of Spain and Greece.
There is, also, another cleavage that has to do with the nature of the policies required to end the euro crisis. This concerns the euro-zone states in particular, and is embodied in the contrast between the northern states (generally creditors) and the southern states (generally debtors).
Many have wondered if Greece's economy would get so bad that it would eventually break away from the euro zone - a move that could encourage other countries to follow and therefore splinter the currency union.
Most assuredly, all know of the controversial and much-discussed possible Greek EU exit, often referred to as ‘Grexit’! But how many are conscious of the ‘PLAN Z’, the name given to a 2012 secret plan drawn up by the troika (EU/ECB/IMF) to prepare the Greek withdrawal from the euro-zone? For that matter, ‘Z’ could also be a play on alpha and omega i.e. "the end"!
When Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, was asked whether there existed any plan in case any country wants or is forced to leave the euro-zone, so that the markets don’t basically collapse, he simply replied that the question is so hypothetical that he didn’t have any answer - “No Plan B”. Well, here we are now!
A Greek exit from the euro-zone would have immense consequences for the European Union. This is why it is something that the EU wants to avoid at all costs. This is the stark truth now facing, not only the euro zone, but also the entire European Union.
A look into the dictatorial running of the European Union was grossly exposed by the reaction of Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE President) on Merkel’s remarks on Greece when he expressed his shock at the proposals of Angela Merkel in the German Bundestag on the eventual eviction of a member of the euro-zone. He stated thus: “Angela Merkel's lack of solidarity with Greece is shocking. The proposals by the German Chancellor are very disturbing. In the Bundestag, she declared that solidarity towards a country like Greece is not the right response. Her suggestion that consideration should be given to an eventual exclusion from the euro-zone is, frankly, shocking. Above all, it is incomprehensible because it is precisely a European response that is the quickest and least costly solution. If the European Commission issues a loan to Greece, it will not cost a cent for anyone. It's as simple as that. Obviously Merkel no longer wants European solutions. The summit had sent a signal to markets that no euro country risks default,” he concluded.
What is Europe doing? First it launches accusations provoking speculation against Greek debt. Then a debate on how to aid Greece ensues, during which proposals are made in every direction. And now we are at the point where some are publicly asking if we really should be helping Greece at all. Over the last few days this debate has become absurd. The EU finance ministers decided that it wanted to do something but didn't want to say exactly what. Apparently this action would take the form of a bilateral loan from the 19 euro-zone countries, that is, a single loan that is paid for by the taxpayers of the euro-zone and which will therefore increase the debt level of each member state. These are nothing but imperial politics.
Not unlike other southern EU. countries, including Malta, Greece is a small vassal state of a Greater Franco-German economic empire. The Greek people were used and tricked into joining the European Union, abused and largely left forgotten but now never to be allowed to threaten the empire builders.
Some time ago, MEP (Member European Parliament) Alfred Sant chose to address the Greek issue and titled his article as ‘The Greek Vortex’, a whirling force of suction intended on European funds. Up to there he was quite right – the whole charade centred on Greece’s insoluble debt. However, unfortunately, he failed to mention and further illustrate which banks, corporations and other creditors were siphoning off the Greek economy, including earlier bailouts. What were the final bellies of these handouts? Definitely, not the Greek people! So rich people need more money and tax cuts to ‘motivate’ them, while poor people need less money and more austerity to ‘motivate’ them.
One reason Greece has been forced to seek bailouts from its EU partners is that Greece ceded control over its currency when it joined the European Union and much of Greece’s deficit was caused by excessive military spending, as dictated by the EU, which remains among the largest in the European Union.
William Hague summed it all up when he said: “ People feel that the EU is a one-way process, a great machine that sucks up decision-making from national parliaments to the European level until everything is decided by the EU.” How long can this remain?
So, Tsipras gave the people the choice in a referendum, even urging and spurring the people to vote ‘No’. And he got a resounding ‘No’, but then he goes to the EU. and votes ‘Yes’! Well, is Greece a country or a party? This is unconditional surrender!
International inspectors will have the power to veto Greek legislation. The Syriza government will be forced to repeal a heap of laws passed since it took power, stripping away the last fig leaf of sovereignty.
From now on the Troika will be governing Greece. There definitely is going to be a real conflict about this. There is already a strong groundswell of anger brewing and an inevitable battle is looming on the horizon. Most Greeks know that the only way out of this neo-colonial servitude is to break free of the monetary union and of the EU.
The Greek Parliament cannot override the people’s ‘NO’ vote. The agreement with the creditors is illegal! Greece should have ditched the euro and gone for the drachma, instead of this whole farce.
And finally, may I offer an honest and unpretentious advice to my friend, Tsipras?
Get back on board all the staunch members of parliament whom you ditched because of their unwavering principle based on the people’s hopeful cry. Only they can help you save your country. Then, my friend take their (EU) money (after all they had stolen it from you) and run…as fast and as far as you can away from them all: the EU, NATO and all the other whole greedy lot. After all, it’s only a sinking ship you’ll be escaping from. Nothing in the EU is what it seems. It’s a total mess!
Greece is suffering and the rest of us don’t realise that it could just as easily be us later!
Perhaps this endorses the fact that the alternative to capitalism can only be achieved through revolution!
I think you'll dream of a revolution of free people long after I'm safely dead.
“ We must break up the eurozone. We must set those Mediterranean countries free.” Nigel Farage
Joseph M. Cachia, Freelance Journalist
Vittoriosa, Malta (Europe)