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Patronizing democracy in the name of a strong euro
by Thanos Kalamidas
2011-11-28 10:40:06
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I was amazed to read that the European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn asked for more cooperation among the Italian members of parliament while visiting Rome last week and it made me wander if the Finnish politician is familiar with the concept democracy or if the European union evolutes to something away from democracy since similar urges we have heard lately regarding the Greek or the Portuguese MP not only from Olli Rehn but also coming from the German chancellor and the French president. And perhaps it is purely semantics but how Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and Olli Rehn understand cooperation is far away from what democracy expects from the people who represent the republic and were elected to be there expressing their wishes and wills. After all it is the very same wishes and danger to lose the chancellor seat that has made the German chancellor and the French president to say the most provocative things the last two years aiming to satisfy their electoral body.

But the worst part – and I’m sorry to say that …I told you long time ago – is that the euro-crisis has become the excuse and the reasoning for the real European problems to rise with democracy been the top of them. Fact is that the Finnish minister’s idea for a triple A states dominion over the rest of the union is far from democratic and makes you wander how democracy works in his country and its definitely not democratic that the German economic minister can patronize even on daily issues other states despite the fact that every single measure he has advised till now has failed and the economic crisis instead of easing is expanding dangerously even to Germany.

Germany has been for long to keep in the closet her sins but I’m afraid that when the day comes the smell will overwhelm all the world including all sides and all oceans. In 1990 German reunification was celebrated as one of the biggest events in the end of the 20th century marking not only the end of a war – the cold war – but the end of another era hoping that the reunification will go far beyond the destruction of the Wall that separated the German nation but that it will also motivate the beginning of a global cooperation with Europe and European union been the starting point. And it’s definitely an admirable economic miracle the success in unifying two countries – even though one nation – with so huge social and economic differences. And the miracle was accomplice inside less than ten years. It makes even the miracle in the Marriage at Cana look poor.

Think of it. One nation with absolute growth, global industrial and banking power with high living standards unifies with a nation that lacks even the basic. With a social structure in ruins and an economy non existent. The strongest currency in Europe with the poorest currency in two continents, the lowest social standards with a nation where the welfare state is a way of living and all that in one decade. And nobody questions why because the whole thing is convenient for everybody, convenient and inspirational. If they can do it everybody can. And it is often said that the real power behind the stock markets is psychological. After all it is some kind of gabling where the gambler feels always better when the hopes are raised. And that’s where Germany invested inveigling the whole European Union. And it was this optimism that led to two mistakes. The expansion of the union to countries that were not ready but necessary to strengthen the market power of the union and the introduction of the common currency ignoring all the aspects and never having a plan B for any case. And I’m afraid that now it hit back and Greece was not the reason, the plasmatic growth of Europe based on hopes and accounting tricks is neither new nor limited to the south member states. All the members have used the same tricks and the one who has actually been the first to do so have been Germany the period of the reunification. And now it comes back. It made a whole cycle that gone all the way from Greece to Portugal, then to Ireland and Spain but Italy is going to be the first serious hit in the heart of the problem and I’m afraid when it hits Belgium and France it will be just too late to stop it.

But again all these are just the peak of the iceberg and I have often said it and write it in the pages of Ovi magazine that the real problem has to do with agendas – economic, geopolitical, political, and personal – that often contradict the Union and its foundations exposing the serious problem of democracy there is in the Union. And having a democracy in crisis brings out the social problems and when the European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn and the German chancellor Angela Merkel patronize nations in the name of a strong currency ignoring the needs of the people then the crisis turns into explosion and no economy can survive an explosion that will include nearly half a billion people.

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Emanuel Paparella2011-11-28 11:22:29
Indeed, those who are willing to sacrifice freedom and democracy to economic interests, eventually lose both. This remains true despite China’s present economic growth which seems to contradict such a statement at first sight. After all, history has not ended yet, and the jury is still out on its final verdict on China.

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