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Should European citizens be happy about the ESM? Should European citizens be happy about the ESM?
by Christos Mouzeviris
2013-02-24 11:36:36
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While the European people are suffering from the ongoing economic crisis, they look up to their leaders for a solution. They want to stop living in austerity, losing their jobs, seeing their incomes shrink. 
 
They want a better, secure future for them and their children. They wish to be able to make plans and provide for their families. But who listens to them? 
 
Europe's leaders seem to have lost touch with their citizens reality. People need real solutions and fast. We are forcing a whole generation of European young people into a dead end. So what is our leader's response to our needs? 
 
Well one of these "solutions" was the launching of the ESM (European Stability Mechanism). It is an international organization located in Luxembourg, which provides financial assistance to members of the euro-zone in financial difficulty. The ESM was established on 27 September 2012, and will function as a permanent firewall for the euro-zone with a maximum lending capacity of €500 billion. 
 
It will replace the two existing temporary EU funding programs: the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and the European Financial Stabilization Mechanism (EFSM). All new bailout applications and deals for any euro-zone member state with a financial stability issue, will in principle from now on be covered by ESM, while the EFSF and EFSM will only continue to handle transfer and monitoring of the previously approved bailout loans for Ireland, Portugal and Greece.
 
In other words Greece, Ireland and Portugal can not have their debt weights lifted right now. Only Spain, Italy and any other country that hasn't received a bail out package so far, will immediately benefit from this. Greece will be able to join only if they fulfill the austerity plan and return to the markets. So there is no soothing for the poor Greek folk in their troubles, for the foreseeable future.
 
The very establishment of such organization clearly shows where Europe is heading. Our leaders' agenda is not finding solutions to our problems or proceeding with real reforms. In Greece for example the public has experienced only severe cuts and reduction of their incomes. Real reforms like those needed in the taxation system have never occurred.
 
Even the IMF has apologized to Greece, because apparently their estimations were wrong and the cuts imposed on the country too severe! So instead of helping the country, they have actually pushed it in deeper recession. But there is no schedule to reverse the cuts or lessen the burden for the Greek people. Was it a genuine mistake or is there an agenda behind it?
 
If the IMF that is part of the Troika can make such tragic "mistakes" that have a huge impact on the fortunes of European people, can they be trusted? Despite the huge sacrifices that the Greek, Irish, Portuguese and other nations had to make, the crisis is only getting worse and there is no end to this tunnel.
 
Currently Spain and Cyprus are in talks with the Troika for loans that will allegedly help them come out of their difficulties; or will they? If what happened to Greece is going to pass without any consequences for the people who made these mistakes, then is the Troika acting for the best interest of the European citizens?
 
We are witnessing the greatest financial experiment in the modern history of Europe. Austerity seems to be unavoidable for European states. It is clearly an agenda, not a solution. Our leaders are trying to change the way we work, the way we live, think of our future and our expectations. Europe is being redesigned for a new reality; but what will this new reality going to be?
 
That is confirmed by the very establishment of the ESM. Because every new country that wants to be part of this plan and avail of its benefits, it has to accept austerity and the regulations coming from the IMF. In that way our governments legitimize austerity all over Europe from now on!
 
While I totally understand and support that the euro-zone needs to be stabilized and the debt crisis contained, I do not think that the solution is imposing austerity on the weaker states. Our leaders seem to think that the only way to deal with the problem is by pleasing the creditors and giving full control to bankers and unelected officials. 
 
All the drastic plans in Europe to save our economies occur in the financial sector only, not in the political. Clearly that sector is easier to change, but in this way we are only finding temporary relief to our woes. Every suggested "solution" is an experiment that when fails, the European people have to deal with the consequences. 
 
So should I be happy that our leaders have agreed to establish the ESM? Well it provides easy access to loans and help to states in need, but with huge costs and conditions that come from people who made serious mistakes at least once, as the Greek case shows.

The only good thing about it I find,is that now our leaders will have overseers to forbid them making irresponsible financial choices. Once under the watchful eye of the Troika, there is little room for mistakes or excuses. Now if the Troika's solutions are of any real help, that is another issue. Ideally, I would not support for each state to surrender its economic sovereignty. But since we are all in the Common Market and use the same currency, there is not much of a choice.
 
As the crisis deepens, it will most likely drag more and more European states into it. They will have the reassurance of the ESM for support, thus austerity is here to stay in our continent. But what will happen if the states that lend want to lend no more? When a core of rich countries support all others, this will inevitably create frictions in the EU and that is in no way helping the European integration.
 
Instead of dealing with the shortfalls in each country's economy and Europe's as a whole, we put them on life support. How can this be of any benefit for the European economy? With ESM or without it, our continent is in deep trouble and it needs reforms.

So far we have seen only the kind of reforms who bring misery to the ordinary European population.  How can we built Europe on such policies that do not gain the support or approval of the people, they are not necessarily for their benefit, rather the benefit of the global economists and bankers?
 

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Christos Mouzeviris is the writer of the blog: The Eblana European Democratic Movement
 

     
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Emanuel Paparella2013-02-24 12:54:20
“Europe is being redesigned for a new reality; but what will this new reality going to be?.....With ESM or without it, our continent is in deep trouble and it needs reforms.”

The above statements could be construed as a syntactical grammatical symbol of what may be the real problematic of this economic recession. The cart has been placed before the horse. Common sense, never mind logical analysis or philosophy, would dictate to any good doctor or any sane citizen of any polity on earth that first comes the diagnosis (the second statement) and then the prognosis (the first statement ending with a question above). That is to say, having democratically agreed that the EU is on life support and is in trouble and needing urgent reforms, the sickness has to be first identified (the diagnosis), then and only then the remedies envisioned and applied (the prognosis).

But alas there is a deeper and more complex analysis that needs to be discussed and debated to get to the right diagnosis, namely the popular assumption among many liberal progressives that progress (exemplified in what is new and modern and globa, especially in economic matters which seems to be the supreme value) is unstoppable and cannot even be questioned, with the corollary politically and culturally correct notion that everything that arrives at the end of a process or an historical era is always beneficial and for the best, never mind the present squallid reality staring in our face as we speak...

After all as Darwin has well taught us, things change and evolve all the times, realities change and one has no option but to adapt to these new realities and become modern and throw out the window ancestral ways.

The question then becomes what reality is it going to be as the first statement above intimates. Plato would not hesitate to brand that as relativism pure and simple, and were one to ask any of the EU founding fathers he would probably suggest that more often than not the prognosis or the response to an alarming diagnosis is found not in adapting to new realities by placing new wine in old bottles and losing both in the process, but in returning to past wisdom and forgotten virtues and enduring values available in the history and heritage of a people.

The people know all that intuitively and need no persuading. I am afraid however that the bankers, the venture capitalists extolling the virtues of globalization, our myopic visionless politicians, our pundits never examining false assumptions are unable to see that far out and so the cart will continue to be put before the horse. Intriguing that the horse has a brain and may even find his way home by itself, the cart could not find itself if it wanted to. In any case, I think the founding fathers of the EU must be turning in their graves at the moment. We need to hear what they envisioned. Let those who have ears, let them hear.



Christos Mouzeviris2013-02-24 17:04:15
So true Mr Paparella.. Unfortunately those who have ears in Europe, do listen..But they are just the minority.. They only thing I can do I am doing it... Writing about it.. Hopefully one day I will be heard.....


Leah Sellers2013-02-26 05:53:29
This is definitely just more of the Global Banks, Global Corporations, Global Elitists and their political, judiciary and lobbying cronies and cohorst Poke "Em With a Stick Behavior Modification Plan.
If the Balance between Government and Private Economies is destroyed by the Government - We the People get Tyranny. If the Balance between Private and Government Economies is destroyed We the People get Tyranny.
It would behoove All of Us to find New Ways to Re-Store the Balance between these two Economies. They Work well Together especially under Just, Benevolent and Fair Playing Field Rules and Guidelines within Free Markets and Free Enterprise.
However, when One gets out of sync with the other or overpowers the Other The Many will always suffer at, and be diminished by, the Hands and machinations of The Few.


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