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Piss of our time
by Thanos Kalamidas
2012-02-23 07:41:20
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I presume not many of the Ovi readers remember Neville Chamberlain waving the Munich Agreement but I suppose many have read about the glorious moment the British Prime minister on his return from meeting Hitler weeks before the beginning of the WWII and the selling out of Czechoslovakia waved the agreement announcing that “it is peace for our time.” Apparently that’s how I vision two days ago the European leaders returning to their countries with the agreement to …save Greece!

Oddly what is going on in Europe the last three years reminds me more and more the events that followed the end of the WWI and led to the WWII. From the Treaty of Versailles where the German people were punished in an unbelievable collective responsibility for the mistakes of their leadership doomed in misery and most importantly losing their dignity to the Munich Agreement where the allies trying to win time so they can prepare better for what was coming they doomed a nation (Czechoslovakia in this case) sacrificing thousands of innocent people. And that’s exactly what the latest agreement between the European leadership did, earned some time to secure better the German and the French banks before the Greek bankruptcy and what this will mean for the rest of the states.

But did they save anybody? The answer apparently is nobody because regarding the Greek debt to the banks the only thing the European did was to recycle who carries the debt and it was the German banks two years ago that carried the majority of it and it is the French nowadays. The same applies with the Portuguese or the Italian debt. But here is the domino. Fine, Germany’s damage will not be so big if Greece bankrupts tomorrow but what about France that carries most of the debt today? And of course German banks carry the majority of the French foreign debt. And if you think that France troubles seem somewhere far in the future giving time to the French to change things what about the Italians. The Italian economy is in coma and the Italian foreign debt like a volcano ready to go off. What happens at the moment with the Italian debt is that they cover it under the carpet (even the rating companies) knowing that the day this will explode the shots will take everybody including the rating companies and their bosses the banks. If the Europeans refer to the Greek issue talking about 130 billion Euros as a problem then when it comes to Italy the 3 trillion Euros we are talking about a global catastrophe with the ripples going to all sides of the globe; that might explain the sudden interest from China.

But returning to history when Chamberlain was waving the Munich Agreement he knew, he might didn’t want to admit it and that excuses what followed to his personal life, but he knew that the moment he signed the agreement he doomed the Czechoslovakian people. And ironically just like the European partners in the European Union, Britain and France had guaranteed protection to the Czechoslovakian people. They even talked about solidarity in front the common enemy and partnership. But everything was forgotten the early hours of 30 September 1938 – there is something persistently coincidental about early hours – when Chamberlain and Hitler signed the agreement.  The early hours of 30 September 1938 it was not Czechoslovakia or the Czechoslovakian government that was doomed, after all the government or what was left from them either capitulate from the Nazi invaders or escaped to Egypt, France or England and neither Czechoslovakia that got out of 50 years occupation perhaps in two pieces but prospering. What were doomed were the thousands of the innocent Czechoslovakians that died and will never replace and a population that hasn’t recovered still, after 60 years and with a lot of help from another guaranteed power and Stalin. In the early hours of 21 February 2010 the European leadership didn’t doomed Greece; Persians, Romans, and Ottomans among others tried to doom Greece for centuries failing, they didn’t doomed the Greek leadership and the politicians, already the Greek media talk about a politician that smuggled thousands of Euros to Switzerland and they definitely didn’t doomed the Greek plutocracy – bankers and industrialists – some of them had already invest their money in the Greek bankruptcy. What they doomed were the Greek people. One million unemployed and that’s the official number. Hundreds of thousands of houses without heat and electricity because they cannot afford the bills, hundred of thousands of families without food and cloths and the number of dead started rising and in this case is not heart, cancer or natural disaster to blame but desperation.

The truth is that they postponed the Greek bankruptcy but they doomed the Greek people in the worst bankruptcy in history. They truth is that there is no plan just last minute moves to save their coming crisis, the truth is that to save their banks they don’t care how many people they will sacrifice and now I’m not talking about Greek people only, I’m talking about the German people, the Dutch people, the Finnish people, the French people and the rest of the Europeans. And yes it might seem very simplifying but in some level the German people and the Finnish people have every right to react to this situation because their governments punish them with a continuing recession – every week in Finland more companies join the lay offs of employees – in order to save the banks. And the people can sense that.

Coming now to the Greek politicians who returned to Greece waving their Munich Agreement; treason is a very heavy word but the truth is that they betrayed the hopes and the dreams of a whole nation. Most importantly they didn’t defend the dignity of these people. And they might didn’t do it because they know that they are guilty on what happened to Greece the last thirty years but at least they were obliged to express the people’s doubts on the plan and not just obey and accept instruction often challenging the dignity of the Greek people like accepting the rule that British courts could judge any dispute over the debt instead of the Greek courts – something that humiliates the Greek justice system – and that’s only one of a series of examples on how damaging this new Munich Agreement is.

Finally I hope the European people can understand that what happens this minute to the Greek people is just the beginning and is going to touch everybody. Political decisions in the name of the banks that can humiliate a whole nation and doom millions is just creating a pretext and precedent that soon will apply over the Portuguese people, the Spanish people, the Italian people, the Belgian people and yes the German and the French people. And then what will be left from the peace to our times will be the Piss of our time!

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Emanuel Paparella2012-02-23 12:04:35
Indeed Thanos, the Chamberlain-like agreement by the banks is a travesty of the worst kind since it privileges economic interests above the dignity and the proud heritage of a whole people, but it was not wholly unpredictable.

When the cultural glue is missing or forgotten and a constitution is conceived as a mere uninspiring commercial treaty, all that one is left with is a “unions of convenience and of good times.”

It’s only when the hard times arrive the trial by fire begins with any political entity. The test is whether the union is genuine, based on the solidarity of all the nations and all the people which constituted it, or it is simply based on the economic considerations of the privileged few, usually two or three percent of the general population.

To use the US analogy, the founding fathers of the US knew full well that what they put on a piece of paper about the equality of all men and inalienable rights would remain a travesty till it was put into practice and that eventually a price would have to be paid for such a travesty. They misguidedly decided that the economic interests of the plantation owners trumped the human dignity of millions of people in their midst, the Black slaves. They postponed the inevitable and came close, via the civil war that eventually ensued, to fulfilling the prophecy paradoxically uttered by of one of the slave owning founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson: those who privilege the economic considerations of the few above the liberty of the many, eventually lose both.

It appears that in our times, when economic considerations are paramount and the bankers and not the people select undemocratic governments headed by technocrats who can do the math for the bankers and sacrifice people to greed, that simple lesson has not sunk in yet. I am afraid it will have to be learned the hard way, when the whole EU is endangered and the dream becomes a nightmare. Both the EU founding fathers, who knew its genuine cultural foundations, and Karl Marx must be turning in their graves.

Leah Sellers2012-02-26 17:02:32
Hello Brother Thanos,
Yes sir !
What if instead of allowing Countries and Nations "to fail", All Nations allowed the Holy Cow Banks who Mis-Speculated, Mis-Spent and Mis-Managed every Nation's monies and Fianancial Systems for their own corrupted and dis-eased aggrandisement and empowerment (at the expense of Everyone else) "to fail" ? What indeed, dear sir.

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