The Strange Death of Liberal Europe

John Curran

Image © BrotherMagneto

The Greek electorate have spoken and, borrowing a phrase from former US President Clinton, it is not clear what they have said. Although we have a decision, can it be described as a mandate? New Democracy winning by a mere 3% ahead of anti austerity socialist party Syriza, the majority party automatically gaining fifty extra seats thus placing them in the driving seat of a coalition government.

 As in the UK after the 2010 election, conservative politicians in open necked shirts make electoral agreements with minority parties with phoney liberal credentials. The political horse-trading in Athens was conducted in the Greek language but the narrative is one shaped by London, Berlin, and Brussels.

There has always been a liberal dilemma at the core of the European project. This is evident in the decision making process which is undemocratic and dominated by the Council of Ministers and the Commission. However, since 1979 the Parliament has grown in authority via the ballot box and the Single European Act. Despite this there is a problem in the governance of the EU, a quandary now thought key to understanding the crisis.  A predictable debate has begun with calls to abandon the EU project or establish a Federalist system.

The unprecedented interference from external influences in the Greek election is a worrying intrusion into the democratic workings of a sovereign state, justified by the ‘memorandum of understanding’ made on the cusp of the first Greek election this year. A document that binds future administrations to adhere to cuts of billions of Euros.

The interference in the Greek election are numerous, springing from comments made by European leaders such as Angela Merkel in Germany and George Osborne in the UK. Larry Elliott in the Guardian on 16 of June reported on comments made by Jean-Claude Juncker:

If the radical left wins [in Greece] – which cannot be ruled out – the consequences for the currency union are unforeseeable.

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London or Brussels? Ça ne fait rien

Dominic Turner

Image © harry_nl

In the week that David Cameron returned from Brussels, posturing as the protector of Britain, what is most distressing, albeit predictable, is the reaction of the establishment ‘left.’



Make no mistake, the binary calculus in David Cameron’s mind was: who controls Britain’s economic policy? Bankers in Frankfurt or the bankers in London who bankroll his party? He chose the neighbourhood bully.



But there does exist a Pan-European Austerity agenda. An insane, centralising elite in the death throes of Europe’s most right wing regimes, striking whilst the iron is hot, before the voters of their respective countries throw them out of office. The brazen arrogance of the plutocratic elite of Europe is exhibited in countries like Italy and Greece who are no longer just practically run by the banks (like the UK) but literally governed by ex-bankers who are exacting savage cuts on ordinary people, the receipt for their own bail out. 

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