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Head in the sand Head in the sand
by Thanos Kalamidas
2012-11-23 07:25:35
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There is a myth, far from the truth, that when an ostrich feels scared or threaten buries her head in sand. That’s the myth but it seems that the leadership of the European Union tries to prove that is not the ostrich that buries her head in sand but them. And they can do it for long time event though the people of Europe have started asphyxiating due the lack of decisions.

And how they do it? By postponing decisions and covering hypocritically their differences and agendas behind petit arguments. And the truth is never told. Not only to the people but it seems that they have a problem even saying the truth among them. And in the middle of all that this moment Greece, Portugal and Spain. Cameron remembered Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel Helmut Kohl but neither of them even slightly resembles their past leaders. While both Thatcher and Kohl were battling for their countries realizing that the future lies in side the European borders, Cameron and Merkel talk about their people looking at their national elections and popular approval. In the meantime euro-sceptics – the contemporary and politically correct way to call the euro-fascists – collect more votes and support.

The big problem this moment is the new budget and the blocks remind the euro-vision contest. The former east European countries all together in one block, England with Holland and Sweden in another and the German soldiers in another. Spain, Greece, Portugal and Ireland feeling a bit lost since all of them dealing with them as beggars who lost their dignity. In other words, European solidarity!

Oh and don’t forget, while we are all talking about rising the budget for the good of the European people over 300 million Euros have been spent for a palace to host the European president, another 100 million Euros to crate in a nearby park the euro-parliament’s version of the post-war European history and not to forget another 20 million Euros for a multimedia presentation near the parliament with its history. All that while unemployment in Portugal Greece and Spain reaches 25% to each. Who’s talking about austerity?

And the same time they are talking about cuts to the subsidies and standstill to developments programs. That will definitely help to cure austerity and end the problems for Greece Portugal and Spain. Actually this might give them an end, the final solution.

And to prove how schizophrenic things are it is this time when agriculture subsidies are important and countries like Finland, you remember Finland, always too keen into reacting to help the southern allies and partners – is burning hot for these subsidies only …only now Finland needs the help of France Spain Portugal and Greece. The irony! And how are they going to ask for this help? Are they going to give any guarantee?

After fifty years of effect to create a partnership where everybody is chained to the other, doing it even by force sometimes and legitimising every single move now they might realize that separation is not going to be easy and what goes around comes around. In a union where you emphasize total equality you should expect that one day it will come around and perhaps the south allies feel a bit uncomfortable this moment but the more uncomfortable they feel the more violent will be their reaction when it comes.

In the meantime Europe is looking for the best sand-hill to bury her head!

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Emanuel Paparella2012-11-23 13:26:27
Sad news and much to ruminate upon Thanos! That metaphor you suggest of a partnership held together by chains (redolent of Plato’s myth of the cave) seems to me to be particularly poignant in this context. Indeed, before anything can happen and at least one person is able to escape the cave (or the head buried in the sand as the case may be) those chains need to be cut first and the journey out of the cave needs to begin one painful step at a time, and that goes for the whole West, not just the EU.

As you know, the paradox of the myth of the cave is that when the man who managed to escape, refuses to keep on running and returns to the cave to bring the good news that there is a sun out there that can enlighten them and that they are looking at pseudo reality, at shadows projected on a wall by fire, he got killed as a man gone mad by the cave dwellers “enlightened” by fire, accustomed to live in chains and very set in their cultural ways. That was the same fate accorded to Socrates who refuses to run away from Athens and is sentenced and given the hemlock.

It may be a myth ok but Plato knew what he was doing, perhaps that myth tells us more of the truth 24 hundred years later than many philosophical political tracts, in as much as it suggests that what we have presently is a union upside down which needs to be straightened out. A modest proposal: perhaps the first painful necessary first step is a careful re-reading of the founding fathers’ ideas on the cultural foundations of such a union in search of its soul.

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