by Frank Schnittger
Fri Jan 16th, 2015 at 07:26:47 AM EST
With the Syriza movement led by Alexis Tsipras likely to win next weeks elections in Greece, the possibility of Greece being expelled from the Eurozone, at German insistence, raises its head. We must be clear that Greece does not stand alone in this conflict, and that the German dominated ECB also has some culpability in the continuing crisis. Unfortunately Ireland's national leaders have shown no interest in supporting Greece or any other Eurozone state in this crisis - preferring to gloat in Ireland's own relative success in exiting the bail-out and fearful of rocking the boat at the ECB.
This cozy "national" consensus needs to be challenged. I have sent the following letter to the editors of Irish national newspapers:
Unlike the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank has one, and only one self imposed target by which it's performance can be judged: to keep inflation at or just below 2%. It has failed miserably to achieve that target, with the result that those people and nations with large debts have seen their real debt burden increase.
This suits net creditor nations like Germany, but is a disaster for almost everyone else, with deflation likely to lead to increased real indebtedness, recession and perhaps even depression in the rest of the Eurozone.
Lest anyone think this is an accident of history, it is an outcome advocated by some German economists and by many of the German dominated staff in the Frankfurt based ECB itself. Essentially it is a case of the Eurozone being run by Germans in Germany's interest.
And yet no one calls for the resignation of the ECB Board for failing to achieve its one self-declared target, never mind achieving a broader set of economic targets including employment levels like the US Fed. Our leaders seem to be afraid to criticize the ECB in case it might once again threaten to pull the plug on our banking system.
The ECB is the most undemocratic institution in the EU, with Ireland never even having sought representation at Executive Board level. It is time that must change, and it is time our political leaders had the courage to hold our banking masters to account.
The Eurozone must be run in the interests of all Eurozone members, and failing that we must consider acting in our own national interest and leave the Eurozone in concert with other Eurozone members whose economic needs are being ignored.
In further news, the ECB has refused to cooperate with the Irish Parliamentary inquiry into the Irish Banking Bail-out Fiasco which looks like costing Irish taxpayers something north of 40 Billion even if the Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Bank end up refunding the taxpayer in full - claiming it is accountable only to the European Parliament. When was the last time the European Parliament ever exercised effective supervision over the ECB? Perhaps it is time for all of us to start lobbying our European Parliamentarians...