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To have the Euro-cake and not pay it too
by Thanos Kalamidas
2012-06-29 09:28:12
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The European leadership met in Brussels and they decided that they have to decide; period! The American president Barack Obama has lately often shown his disappointment to his fellow European leaders regarding their lack of drastic decisions and President Putin has pointed that the time for decisions in Europe is here. The same time Chinese sources talking about the necessity for decisions from the European leadership. And the Europeans after a long meeting with all the twenty-seven leaders of the member states and the commission decided that they have to decide!

Unfortunately I’m not joking or doing any word games; this is the reality this moment in Brussels. The problem is that they are all aware of the tragic momentum, they are all aware for the need for a decision but nobody has any suggestion. Actually, and that’s the tragic of the whole situation while most of them think that Merkel is wrong, she’s the only one who has something to suggest. And please don’t tell me about Hollande because I absolutely agree with him that Merkel’s strict economic policy will never work outside Germany and should never been forced to other states and growth is the only answer but he seem to lack suggestions on how we get to that precious growth especially under the pressure of an escalating recession.

So we have the Euro-zone shared in two and then four camps, starting with south and north and then going to the German camp and the French camp with their interests not necessary marching all the time. Then we have the camp of the states that are not in the euro-zone but they want to join and the states that are not in the euro-zone and they don’t want to join. And in the end UK which as usual when it comes to the European Union is camp itself. Actually Britain’s stand in the whole situation can give the best example on how surreal the whole situation is turning to be.

Britain is in deep recession at least the last two years. How big this recession is nobody knows at least on the record. The bitter truth is that Blair left a lot of open wounds and Brown despite all the effects didn’t manage to heal many; on the contrary he opened some new ones. And then came Cameron with his “liberal” conscious and the Olympic Games that just like with the Athens’ Olympics eight years ago, will bring the bill after the closing ceremony! But thanks to transatlantic cousins Britain survives for now. But dropping to less than 45% exports to the European partners from the mighty 65% even cousins cannot save you. And that’s of course is due to the crisis in the euro-zone including the debt crisis.

So David Cameron and George Osborne arrived in Brussels demanding – the word demanding is accurate – from the European leadership to take drastic decisions and immediate action to terminate the euro-crisis suggesting that in the name of the European solidarity the industrial and richer north is obliged to help the agricultural and poorer south while – deep breathe – while they are threatening to exercise veto in a case the European leadership demands the participation of the non euro-zone states in the solution. If you have never heard the English proverb, “to have one's cake and eat it too,” now you know how it works!!! And of course as David Cameron pointed very loud and clearly it is all to protect and safeguard the interests of the British people. This is the little part where the cake forgets solidarity!

And please don’t think that Cameron is the exception, he is just an example. Even Sweden was ready to patronize starting feeling that the crisis is reaching the arctic side of the EU but keeping some distance when it comes to the hundred billion question. Or Poland who definitely wants to join the euro-zone but a healthy euro-zone that can offer some immediate profit just like when the state joined the EU, they also patronize. And everybody demands for decisions but when Merkel suggests her decisions they dismiss them demanding for …decisions. 

In the meantime seven countries out of the seventeen of the Euro-zone are getting help; Spain’s problem into borrowing with unbelievable interest is getting nightmarish with Italy following very close and the numbers of unemployed, homeless and helpless is becoming a humanitarian catastrophe in Greece! But hey, no worries and please don’t make noise, EU is deciding that is time to decide!!!

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Emanuel Paparella2012-06-29 11:21:52
Europa quo vadis? Perhaps the lessons of the French Revolution need to be evoked. As the people protested and demanded bread, Marie Antoinette supposedly suggested that “ if they lack bread, let them eat cake.” That is quite similar to what the EU politicians and bankers are suggesting to the people starved for a vision beyond mere narrow economic considerations and clamoring a modicum of competent and corageous leadership. Indeed, the cake has been eaten but the union remains in trouble. It is a delusion within a grand illusion to think that an authentic union can be forged without solidarity while pursuing narrow nationalistic interests. Unfortunately that cake offered to the people is also a symbol of an enormous lack of imagination, an inability to empathize with the sufferings of the disadvantaged and the less privileged, usually ending up with a loss of touch with reality. Perhaps it is high time to return to the nourishing cultural bread offered by the grand vision of the EU founding fathers. Let those who have ears, let them hear.

Thanos2012-06-29 11:23:48
Actually I was tempting to use the same title!!! :)

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