by Frank Schnittger
Sat Jun 20th, 2015 at 07:28:18 AM EST
Yanis Varoufakis has an article in today's Irish Times in which he laments the failure of the Eurogroup to listen to his proposals even whilst they themselves have been kept in the dark about what "the Institutions" are proposing. Apparently no substantive discussions took place on what either "the Institutions" or Greece were suggesting as the way forward. A majority of the Eurogroup Ministers appear to have decided, in advance, that Varoufakis is not someone they can "do business with."
But perhaps the finance Ministers couldn't address, never mind resolve, the Greek crisis because at root it isn't a financial crisis, it is a political crisis which effects the whole European project. If this all goes horribly wrong, we will have Greece spinning, out of control, into the Russian orbit run by a military Junta and with politicians such as Varoufakis in exile, jail, or worse.
The EU, meanwhile, will start to fall apart with nationalists governments, led by the UK, doing their best to break it apart. We may not have a major European war any time soon, but the slippery slope will have begun. Meanwhile we will have people starving in the streets and dying en masse for lack of proper medical care.
There is no doubt that Greece needs an internal social, economic and political revolution. For too long it has been run by a corrupt elite who pay very little by way of taxes and do not re-invest their profits to modernize the economy. It has a massive and inefficient military and civil service which absorb huge resources and stifle all economic enterprise and growth. The underlying Greek economy is painfully underdeveloped whilst social inequalities grow.
It is unclear whether Syriza, or any Greek government, have the means to lead such a revolution. Perhaps a massive rupture is unavoidable. A default followed by ejection from the EZ could well result in hyper-inflation of any new currency, mass impoverishment, and violence in the streets. Sounds familiar?
The EU was founded to prevent such a re-occurrence and it will have failed in its most basic and sacred duty if it fails to prevent it. It will have destroyed its own most basic raison d'être and claim to legitimacy. All of Europe will be the loser.
We need to decide whether the EU truly aspires to be a Union or not. If so, the suffering of the Greek people is indivisible from suffering in our own home states. It is as much our responsibility as is the hardship experienced by our neighbours down the road. There is no solution to the Greek Crisis which does not involve at least a mini-revolution in the EU institutions as well. Monetary Union cannot be pursued in isolation from fiscal Union, and the health, social welfare, education and economic development of the Greek people must be assured at an EU institutional as well as at a national level.
We cannot allow the suffering of the Greek people to become a bargaining chip in the power politics of competing national elites. It is time for Community wide solutions to Community problems. It is time for the European Union to get real.
[editor's note, by Migeru]
In this series:
- There's a (awful) deal open thread. by Colman on July 13th, 2015
- National unity splits the party by Migeru on July 11th, 2015
- Would you capitulate already? by Colman on July 7th, 2015
- Greek referendum aftermath open thread by Migeru on July 6th, 2015
- Greek referendum day open thread by Migeru on July 5th, 2015
- Media Onslaught? Open Thread by afew on July 1st, 2015
- Greek capital controls open thread by Migeru on June 28th, 2015
- Greek referendum open thread by Migeru on June 27th, 2015
- What we've learned from the Greek process to date by Colman on June 25th, 2015
- End game for Greece? by Frank Schnittger on June 20th, 2015