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Top Dozen Villains in Greek Soap Opera: Who Is to Blame as Greece and Euro Stagger toward the Brink?

June 26, 2015 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Negotiations in Brussels to resolve the Greek fiscal crisis appear deadlocked, with Athens heading toward default on Tuesday. German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted that Greece make a deal before the markets open Monday: Germany “will not be blackmailed.” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipris responded by denouncing “blackmails and ultimatum” and scheduling a referendum on the deal on July 5.

The European Union was supposed was supposed to create a de facto United States of Europe. Although the original constitution was rejected by Dutch and French voters, the Eurocratic elite forged ahead with a treaty, which did not require popular ratification. Only the Irish voted, and they first said no. But under pressure from virtually every establishment individual and institution across the continent, the Irish did as they were told and voted yes the second time.

In 2009 the Lisbon Treaty finally took effect. The result was supposed to be a new Weltmacht, a putative superpower with a president, foreign minister, and parliament, moving toward ever greater centralization. The Europeans prided themselves on answering Henry Kissinger, who so many years ago sarcastically asked for Europe’s phone number.

Alas, after last January’s Greek election it was obvious that whoever answers that line does not speak for Greece. Indeed, it isn’t clear if the EU’s leaders, many appointees confirmed by parliamentarians elected by national voters primarily using their ballots as protest votes, represented anyone in Europe other than themselves. And the Eurocrats, an amalgam of bureaucrats, academics, journalists, businessmen, politicians, and lobbyists who dominate Brussels.

The European story is reaching its climax and no one knows how it is going to turn out.”

To most EU leaders common people are an impediment. The Eurocrats reflexively intone “more Europe” in answer to every question, but voters increasingly are supporting protest parties, some populist, some worse. In countries like the Netherlands the rabble-rousers seem destined for government. In London it is the government, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, which is seeking to weaken Brussels’ control, after which it will hold a referendum on continuing membership in the body.

The most fundamental problem remains the “democratic deficit,” which then Czech President Vaclav Klaus spoke of. The EU began as a forum for economic cooperation, mainly to help integrate West Germany back into Europe. The later Common Market created a relatively free trade zone for member states, breaking down import barriers. But a forum for increased …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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