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When EU crisis makes Maggie contemporary
by Thanos Kalamidas
2011-07-04 09:32:19
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The last few months the whole Europe has focused into the Greek problem somehow ignoring the reality that has hit them the last few years and unfortunately is going to be in the centre of the talk the next few weeks in the commission. Euro is just one of the issues but the real issue that actually can become the reason for further shaking the institution’s foundations is the rebates on the contributions to the European Union and in other words Thatcher’s dream for the future of the Union.

Margaret Thatcher didn’t change the relationship between EU and Britain demanding the rebates of the contributions having foreseen the crisis EU is dealing with now but she definitely had foreseen that the then expansion of EU to Spain Portugal and Greece with the Germans especially targeting more members soon was driving to a group of countries that would be milked endlessly in the future. And probably for totally different reason she had foreseen that a Union based on political decisions presented a risk in the future especially a Union that moved in different speeds. Actually it was Margaret Thatcher who had come with the idea of a Union with different speeds. And this is coming from somebody who was anything than Thatcher’s admirer; actually I believe that Maggie was the reasoning for many misfortunes that found Britain the last three decades including the chaotic clash differences and the demolished welfare state Britain was priding for centuries.

Another thing Margaret Thatcher has foreseen was the weakness of the European leaders to take a political decision and stand by it. And I’m sure that despite her health situation the iron lady nowadays is watching and with her sardonic smile says …I told you! Maggie could see that the only way that Union could stand it was only as an economic alliance and not as a political alliance. A huge market that could commerce freely the products of perhaps twenty seven countries or more countries in organized production and driven consuming; plus strengthening exports through better use of the European resources and in some cases the unique position of Europe to be able to produce all the necessary raw materials including oil. In this case the only political decision necessary was the formation of this common market. After all the foundations of the European Union is on the Common Market and that’s how it was planned. Then under this blue print some decided to build a political union and I’m afraid the last decade we have seen the results of building something under the wrong blue prints.

The last expansion even though I believe that for Cyprus it was the perfect solution – for reasons that had to do with the Cypriot dependency from UK including the currency dependency – was the final cut. Ten nations far from prepared or ready to join not only a political union like the EU but even a market alliance like it, has deepen the crisis while exploding the differences not only among the new comers but even among the founder states. And yes the criteria were there but please tell me which of those ten countries fulfils those criteria and it wasn’t a political decision to let them enter the Union. Was it Poland or Estonia? Latvia or Lithuania were even democracy is under serious questioning? But nothing was stopping them; they wanted a union with a common currency thinking that there will be no problems with red carpets unveiled everywhere. Well it didn’t work like that and the worst part is that the leadership of the European Union never had a plan B.

Plan B is an unknown word for the European leadership. Think of it, if one member country doesn’t fulfil the criteria after joining there is absolutely no way to do anything about it and it continues acting and participating the same way with the same power and influence to the decisions. Do you want to take it one step further? Let’s say that tomorrow the True Finns make government in Finland and they do all the anti-EU things they promised during their campaign. What happens next? Is the EU going to ask back all the contributions it has done to the Finnish agriculture, fishing, sailing, unemployment? A few years ago a xenophobic, Euro-sceptic, racist government raised in Austria and what the EU did? They frozen talks. But that was all. The same this minute. The Greek crisis demands a political decision and what the European Union does? Postpones decisions while politicians for internal reasons in every single European country use the crisis for their populist propaganda often misinforming the people of the real problem creating a new situation in the Union; prejudice against the southerner members of the Union, the so called …PIGS! Suddenly for the average northern European the southerners are lazy corrupted parasites who live with the work of the northerners. Is that the Union they were dreaming?

I never liked Margaret Thatcher and as I said in the beginning I think that she’s responsible for many misfortunes in Britain but I have to admit that even for the wrong reasons she had foreseen the inability of the European Union to deal with reality and real crisis like the one who are facing now. And the question now is not if Britain will change her policy regarding the rebates but when others will decide to follow Britain’s example and especially now facing a recession and the euro-crisis. And think of it, countries that could do that like Belgium and Italy are not far from their own Greek crisis.

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Emanuel Paparella2011-07-04 14:15:41
And now that we have made Italy let’s make the Italians, said Cavour, one of the architects of the Unification of Italy, now being celebrated with great fanfare in Italy while the Lega’s dream is that of separation from the rest of Italy to join the “industrious” northern countries…Brussels, the so called capital of Europe is now a symbol of disunion since it is also the capital of a country who wants to separate into two countries. Corsica also wants independence from France, and so does Catalonia and the Basques. The lesson is clear: to create, first a commercial union, then a political union, and then lastly come around to entertaining a a cultural union cemented by some common ideals spelled out in a visionary constitution which would forge a real confederation, means in effect to echo the statement of Cavour: now that we have made Europe, let’s make the Europeans. That, I submit was the not the vision of the EU founding fathers such as Newmann and De Gasperi and Eidenauer. Unfortunately, to be “enlightened” in our brave new world is to deny one’s rich European cultural heritage in the name of modernity and progressivism…, which is to say, to put the cart before the horse. I have written repeatedly on this thorny issue in Ovi magazine but to no avail; it appears that not many are listening or at the very least entertaining the idea that the union has to be rethought along the lines of its founding fathers’s cultural vision. One begins to feel like a voice crying in the desert.

Christos Mouzeviris2011-07-05 00:28:48
No one of our European leaders see EU as a serious political tool for the betterment of Europe, rather to promote their own or their countries' interests...They treat us as capita, they do not want us to know anything about EU or what it does and how it works. They do not want to nurture the cultural aspect of the project that as Emanuel said, it is the only way to cement the union. On the contrary, they copy the American culture and shove it down our throats, as if they are trying to turn us all Americans. They are lazy..They want to integrate Europeans under the american model, and they totally forget the rich cultural back ground of the european populace, so they are losing out. They are losing the hearts and support of the people simply because they care only about the single market and who earns what out of the union, and do not incite support among the populace, a thing that is crucial for the success of the European project...!!

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