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Is Brexit the first sign for an EU-exit?
by Thanos Kalamidas
2016-06-24 10:59:26
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In the days and weeks to come we will all have the chance to talk extensively about the new Europe that rose this morning, June 24th 2016, after the British referendum, which found Britain in the exit side of the European Union. And there are going to be all kind of analysis.

brex01_400_01One thing to point from the first reactions is that it is unfair to say that the huge turnout – perhaps one the biggest the last 30 years – was mainly consisted by xenophobes and nationalists. Nearly 52% of the British people voted for a Britexit and the roots of their decision lays unfortunately in EU and especially in the tragic European commission. It isn’t Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage who have won, it is Angela Merkel, Jean-Claude Juncker and mainly EU that has lost.

I’m afraid the Brexit is just the beginning with more changes to follow not only in UK but the whole Europe – part or not of the EU. That while the EU commission and leadership are in absolute denial to understand that it is them who are wrong and not the people who simply look for their constantly ignored interests. Europe of its citizens doesn’t exist anymore, Europe for the people, champion of human rights and labour rights doesn’t exist anymore and this is what unfortunately the British people said in the wrong way. But there was no other way left to them. And Greek referendum a year ago – despite the political coup that changed their vote – said. There is something seriously wrong with this Union and nobody cares to do anything about it.

An EU commission deciding for the destiny of millions and the same time isolated from those millions. The millions have to react and they have started with uncontrollable and unpredictable consequences.

These are very strange and historic moments not only for Britain but for the whole Europe and we are walking on an unknown territory and now is too late for regrets but for solutions. But for Europe solutions with the existence status quo don’t exist.

To quote famous Churchill’s words, this is the beginning of the end and perhaps it would be more appropriate if we start talking about an EU-exit.

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Emanuel Paparella2016-06-24 11:45:20
Obviously centrifugal forces are hard at work in the EU, and the center has considerable difficulty holding; it may indeed be the beginning of the end, but that too is hardly surprising in a union founded on misconceptions about its very cultural identity and now in the hands of a soulless bureaucracy and greedy bankers adoring the idols of economic wealth and prosperity, for the few and the elites...of course.

It seems rather logical that this sad trend will continue to its inevitable culmination: the dissolution of a union built on sand, contemptuous of transparency and democracy, presently leaning toward good old ethnic nationalism, or worse, good old British imperialism, not to speak of right-wing fascistic tendencies raising their ugly head all over Europe. Democracy, on the other hand, demands team-playing and cooperation, not imperialism...

It remains dubious that soccer games and economic carrots will continue to do the trick of supplying some sort of identity to a union bereft of its initial ideals. As Lincoln put it: “one cannot fool all the people all the times.” Even more bizarre, eventually the Northern Irish will realize that to remain in the EU they’ll need to join the Republic of Ireland, and the Scots, likewise, that to remain in the EU (as they prefer and have just voted for) they need to become independent of Britain. Oh my, oh my, does it get complicated! Meanwhile we can always console ourselves with soccer games… and imperial parades of a disunited kingdom... and the coming happy Olympics in Brazil… Who could ask for anything more?

Emanuel Paparella2016-06-25 16:13:31
Addendum: After the Brexit, the Foreign Minister of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmmeier has proposed, via twitter, that the leaders of the EU go to an Irish pub, get “decently drunk” and then come together the next day to discuss the problems of the EU. He’ll soon find out that things do indeed look different when one is sober.

He has also proposed that the six original EU founding nations meet in Germany today to discuss the emergency situation in which they find themselves. I suppose the proposal is commendable, but I have a more modest proposal: I sincerely hope that they see their emergency meeting as an opportunity to reflect on what were the original democratic ideals and principles on which the EU was originally founded in mid-twentieth century; perhaps even take a quick look at a book I wrote some ten years ago (titled Europe in Search of its Soul) and amply discussed in Ovi's pages. Having rediscovered those ideals they may then be better able to discern the root causes why the center of the union which was suppose to change the world as we knew it, does not hold and why the union may be expected to continue to unravel. For, I am afraid that alcohol, or money, or raw power, or greed (all highly addictive and harmful substances) will not do the trick any longer.

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