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Recession over? Which recession?
by Thanos Kalamidas
2013-06-24 10:43:55
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The last few weeks officials all around Europe announce that recession is over, euro is strong and the future bright and shining. In the meantime even German companies started announcing cuts while in the south the situation with unemployment has reached a humanitarian crisis. So what recession ended or better whose recession ended.

On top of that and finding a surprising ally in the words of the American president during his visit in Europe for the G8 summit,  the German chancellor called the southern Europe youth, or better, the educated southern Europe youth, to look for a better future in Germany or the somewhere in the industrial – as she pointed – north.

Amazing, so Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain invested in this youth for years in too many ways including the free education most of the northern democracies don’t enjoy anymore to the highest level so Germany can get educated and specialized youth for the factories of Mercedes Benz? There is something lacking the German chancellor’s suggestion and it has to do absolutely nothing with the spirit of solidarity to the jobless youth in the south.

The crisis in Europe is far for over and by keep talking about “the war is over” the European leadership only manages to remind George W. Bush’s announcement that the war was over in Iraq when the real troubles had just started making the whole world wander if he has any sense of reality. Perhaps the only ones who feel better are the bankers. Their banks are saved. Temporary. Temporary because one of the things that was in the agenda of the G8 was taxing the banks and seen the bank savings as in investment. You see this crisis has no end and acts like an octopus expanding its legs everywhere.

Banks - especially in Europe - have enjoyed a long period of life in heaven. No state control, low tax and all in the name of economic stability. Well the recession brought to them a new reality and partly it is their fault and their arrogance. You cannot survive without us became their motto this last decade. No they are going to leant that they cannot survive with us. But this is another slow process that has to go though their arrogance first.

But the recession – the contemporary political correct word to use when you talk about the bankruptcy of the economic system as it is – is actually just the peak of the iceberg since the crisis is much deeper. And the cure cannot even start because we all realize how serious it is. Our democracies are in crisis and not just our currency or our markets. Our democracy and especially representative democracy as it has evoluted the last decades has failed. Consciously the people vote people they know that they are not going to keep their promises or even follow their obligations. And they are aware that it is not only the elected politicians’ fault because even the politicians have to fight with a system full of lobbies, interests and agendas that create a stone wall whatever direction they try.

In Greece a week ago the Prime minister turned off the national broadcaster and a week later despite the fact that the Greek high court decided that the broadcaster has to re-open immediately the national television broadcasts a black picture. And that during the program in an afternoon and a whole nation witnessing an act of extreme Machiavellianism from the Greek government and personally the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

Italy is still in crisis while in Cyprus people saw in one night unbelievable laws to be enforced were their savings were literally stole from the banks to ...save the banks. In Portugal very correctly the former president Mario Soares pointed in a speech this weekend that if we don’t act soon we will find out that we don’t have democracy anymore and we must act now before it is too late. In Spain they are happy for one and only reason. In the lists of the European unemployment they are not first anymore; Greece is in front of them.


While writing these things I remembered something J. F. Kennedy has said. “The human mind is our fundamental resource.” Not the money, not the banks, not agendas and lobbies; our mind. And this minute it looks like they are try to minimize its value and use and replace it with stock-market and growth indicators. It is one thing the money, economic recession and another when it comes to mind recession like it happens now and as Mario Soares said we must act now before it is too late. 

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