Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Merkel's Toxic Tonic

Has German Chancellor Angela Merkel's subjugation of Greece inadvertently poisoned European unity?  That's how a pro-EU lobby group sees it.

"The last few weeks have laid totally bare the European Union's brand of authoritarian dogma," UKIP leader Nigel Farage wrote in the London Telegraph.

"More and more people are waking up to the dangers of this supranational beast sweeping aside national sovereignty completely. Many who had continued to believe until very recently that the EU was compassionate and forward-looking are beginning to realise just how backwards the whole project is."

Pablo Echenique, a deputy from Spain's radical left Podemos, labelled the deal a "financial coup d'etat" that converted Greece into a protectorate.

Podemos leader Juan Carlos Monedero said it was "a terrorist crime".

Greece's former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis warned the deal would strengthen the far right Golden Dawn party.

Beppe Grillo, leader of Italy's anti-euro Five Star party said eurozone leaders had used a "strategy of terror", and Catarina Martins, leader of the Portugese anti-capitalist Left Bloc said "democracy has been completely swept aside to make way for colonial-style impositions".

On Monday, the leader of France's National Front, Marine Le Pen, said if she were Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras she would have led Greece out of the Eurozone.

"Greece is no longer free," she said. "This is a carve-up to deprive the Greeks of their entire national heritage. It is clearly the enslavement of a country inside the European Union itself."

Her deputy Florian Philippot said the Greek people had been "cast into slavery".

Ms Le Pen had previously praised Greece's referendum on the bailout deal, pushing for her own referendum on the exit from the European Union.

The UK, under Conservative prime minister David Cameron, has already committed to a referendum on EU membership next year.

Until recently the 'Yes' vote was clearly in front.

Peter Wilding, director of the British Influence group which is lobbying for Britain not to leave the EU, said if Greece accepted the deal offered by Europe it would "essentially be voting itself to be a ward of the Eurozone".

"The price of ceding sovereignty and apparently bypassing democracy is a high one for Greece but also a gift for the No campaign here.

"Whether you support German rigour or Greek pluck, it is clear that the consequences for continental solidarity have been toxic. The longer the crisis has dragged on, the more it has corroded Europe's political culture and revealed the shallowness of any sense of political solidarity across the continent and the limited legitimacy of the EU's political institutions."

Oh, Angela, whatever have you done?


Anonymous said...

I seems to me that natural selection made us a bit different from each other. A farmer/fisherman in Scotland or Germany could not afford to "take it easy" approach to life. Come winter, he, his family and his gene pool would be wiped out without prior extensive back-breaking work. On the other hand, while life is rather harsh in Greek mountains, beaches were always available. Anyway, I would rather live&party in Greece...

The Mound of Sound said...

I'm not sure how much the average Greek contributed to the country's malaise, A..non. Some of what I've read points the finger at government (pre-Syriza) corruption and tax evasion/avoidance by the affluent/rich. I've never understood blue collar Greeks to be particularly indolent.

Purple library guy said...

I do hope that Anon is joking--really, race-based theories in this day and age?
And yes, Greeks (when they have jobs) work among the longest hours in the OECD. Not that this tends to penetrate the general fog of "Partying Greeks" propaganda.