DO NOT FORGET THIS DATE

16 11 2011

DO NOT FORGET THIS DATE

The twenty-seventh of October two thousand and eleven. This is a date which should not be forgotten. Every year on this date those who should lament should lament and those who should celebrate should celebrate. It may be called anything you like: the feast of the European fiasco, the day of the Greek scandal, swindlers day, memorial day for the European ideal... This is the date on which the EU wiped off 50 percent of Greece’s debts and the values of which Europe rested have de facto died. Joy to those who would celebrate. Get well soon to those who are sorrowed. Shame on those who have caused it.

We thought that the European Union had rules. We believed that the European Union is a totality of rules. We held that the European Union acted based on principles and not differently with different countries and situations. We thought that the European Union took decisions based on ideals and not on daily concerns, petty interests and fellowship. We thought the European Union did not have double standards. We were very, very wrong.

For decades Greece has eaten and drunk away. It lived a life of luxury. It did not produce, only consume and spent the money from European Union coffers. Then it went bankrupt. The European Union should have expelled Greece and served it with the bill for its actions.

This was not what the European Union did. First the Union laid down a “Euro pipeline” ending  in Athens  to support Greece, despite the alterations Athens made to documents, its cosmetic changes to statistics and its betrayal of the Union. Greece did not make any reforms, nor did its performance improve.

Then the European Union tried to save the money it extended to Greece in order to recoup the funds from Greece’s spending and get its credit back. As a result the Union wiped off 50 percent of Greece’s debt.

Did anyone ask for the opinion of those Europeans who financed Greece’s sweet life for years? Of course not! For that is not how things are done in the European Union.

When the European Constitution draft collapsed, Brussels had prepared a new agreement document with the same content: the Lisbon Treaty. That did not work either. For Ireland had rejected the ratification of the agreement in a referendum. Then the European Union decided that Ireland should hold a second referendum on the same subject. In the second referendum, the Irish voted “yes”.

A bigger mess occurred in October. On the 11th of October 2011, the Slovak Parliament voted to reject the expansion of the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF). Yet, whatever happened behind closed doors, on the 13th of October 2011, the Slovak Parliament announced its approval of the expansion of the EFSF.

Where are the principles? Where are the rules? Are the members truly equal? Where are respect and democracy? EUR 100 billion worth of funds have been scrapped away from the list of debts Greece owed to Europe. Those who object to the small payments made to Turkey in the name of the bible and Christ must have a difficult time explaining this mess through articles and paragraphs.

From Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou’s statements, it seems that Greece is quite pleased with the present conditions. Papandreou has said that the acceptance of a loss of 50 percent of their credit –this being the new expression for forgiving debts- means that the debt burden of the country has become sustainable. In more open terms, Papandreou accepts that this favour by the European Union has saved Greece from going bankrupt.

In a statement given in Brussels, Papandreou has said “the debt is now definitely sustainable. Let us hope for better days to come for Greece and for Europe. Greece can now certainly settle its accounts from the past.” Of course, that is provided Greece does not do the same things as it did last time.

Papandreou has announced that certain banks in Greece may be temporarily nationalised. Accordingly, it seems that the majority share of many banks will pass into government hands. After restructuring, banks will then be sold off to private investors. Papandreou calls this “very standard practice with nothing to be afraid of.” Of course there is nothing of which to be scared, since the European Union is willing to finance the transaction. If the plan should not work, again never fear! The European Union’s attitude is clear. If it does not work, it will be tried again.

There is no possibility that these plans and tactics should work. Even if this plan works –previous others did not” Greece’s level of indebtedness will have fallen to 120 percent of the GDP in 2020 from its present level of 160 percent. Even for this little, Greece needs to behave itself completely.

But a response to this problem has been formed. The European Union has decided to extend support worth EUR 30 billion to the Greek private sector. Why? Based on what?

Can anyone answer the following question: why are we paying back our debts? Why should our or someone else’s debts not get scrapped? Those countries which honour their debts and which are struggling against the crisis do not deserve this.

It is impossible not to wonder when, under what conditions and circumstances and for whom the rules, principles, traditions and the famous acquis of the European Union apply.

The bill for this debacle will be very hefty From now on, which European Union official can hope for being taken at his word? For example, the progress reports, statements and decisions concerning Turkey... It is clear that the European Union does not act according to the rules or the principles. Will the privileges and unlawful preference for Greece also apply to other countries? Italy, Spain, Portugal, Estonia, Latvia, Hungary, Ireland? Even Britain?

Ne should not waste time dwelling over the European Union’s loyalty to the values, principles and rules to which it supposedly adheres. One point is certain however: Greece is indeed there among the ideal roots of the European Union.

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