NEWS FLASH: MERKEL VICTORIOUS IN GREEK ELECTION
REMAIN ALERT: TRANSNATIONAL FASCISM PROMISES RETURN OF EUROPEAN FEUDALISM
(roundup plus analysis)
On Sunday, “the demographic division over economic policy between different age groups ‘was quite dramatic’, with younger voters far more likely to vote for Syriza, whilst older Greeks were more conservative. ‘The youth went for Syriza, and when you look at Greece’s youth unemployment, that’s understandable,’ [New Democracy] beat Syriza, which wanted to cancel Greece’s international bailouts. Syriza chief Alexis Tsipras has conceded the election.”
Greek youth subjected to the brunt of austerity are not the only ones opposed to Merkel’s policy dictates:
“On the streets of Athens, Madrid and Rome angry demonstrators blame one country – Germany – above all others for laying down the law and imposing harsh austerity and economic recession.
They accuse Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel of putting tough budget rules before growth. She says there shall be no further financial guarantees until spending controls are incorporated in the constitutions of all 17 members of the European monetary union. That is the purpose of the fiscal compact that was agreed by 25 of the 27 European Union members in January. Ms Merkel calls it the first step to a fiscal union, without which there can be no debt mutualisation such as eurozone bonds. The trouble is that Germany has to pass the legislation, too. Yet four months after persuading 25 partners to sign the treaty, the German chancellor is still locked in political wrangling at home over how and when it should be approved by the German Bundestag and Bundesrat, the lower and upper houses of the national parliament. Ms Merkel has linked the vote on the fiscal pact to approval for the parallel treaty setting up the €500bn European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the permanent eurozone rescue fund that is supposed to be set up by the beginning of July. It now looks as if parliamentary ratification of both measures could be delayed until the evening of June 29 – the last possible moment for the eurozone rescue fund to be operative when the markets open on July 2. The tentative deal is that Ms Merkel will fly home from the EU summit in Brussels on June 29 to prove to the parliament that she is backing a clear EU growth strategy, and has fought for a financial transaction tax to be adopted throughout the eurozone to help finance the recovery. Weeks of negotiations between the leaders of the main political parties have meant that the chancellor has been forced to delay ratification of the very treaties she insisted everyone else should sign. At the very least, it is a national embarrassment….she may face a damaging revolt by her own supporters. Only by linking approval of the rescue fund to the strict rules of the fiscal pact can she persuade them that German taxpayers are protected. Yet behind the short-term political manoeuvring lies a deeper problem:
the fiscal pact amounts to a profound intrusion into national sovereignty for all the signatories, including Germany. So it is not just the opposition parties that are giving Ms Merkel trouble: it is all 16 federal states – the Länder – that fear the loss of their budgetary authority. They are demanding sweeping reassurances that it will not be a back door to a centralisation of authority. Further talks are due on June 21. Budget sovereignty is a vital element in the German constitution, says the constitutional court. Further steps to fiscal union mean that fundamental debates will be essential in every eurozone parliament, including Germany’s. The Bundestag may prove to be one of the most difficult.” (source)
In addition to assaulting the sovereignty of European nations, Merkel’s campaign for economic fascism clearly sabotages the stability, health and growth of the continent:
The bad news is putting additional pressure on Angela Merkel, the chancellor, to come up with a new crisis management strategy and reassert her leadership in Europe after François Hollande, France’s new president, stole the show over the past month with his calls for greater growth stimulus. Mr Hollande has broken the Franco-German alliance in which Mrs Merkel had been the senior partner, and his demands have been welcomed by other European leaders who have concluded that the German chancellor’s medicine - austerity at all costs - is not working. Politically isolated in Europe, confronted with a dangerous new eruption in the crisis in Greece and Spain and facing the prospect of a slowing domestic economy ahead of a general election next year, Mrs Merkel has to act fast. She is responding too tentatively, as usual. In a bid to salvage her plan to enforce budget discipline in Europe, she has had her staff draft proposals to complement her fiscal pact with measures to enhance investment and growth by boosting the capital of the European Investment Bank and reforming the payout of European Union development funds. Last week, she signalled she was ready to sign away national sovereignty and forge a true fiscal and political union in Europe, steps considered essential for the long-term survival of the currency. But those solutions will require years of arduous negotiation and ratification and they will come too late to rescue the euro. Mrs Merkel’s crisis management has been consistently poor right from the start. By initially refusing to bail out Greece in early 2010, she encouraged speculators to drive that country and other high-debt nations closer to the brink. Her insistence in late 2010 that private creditors must shoulder part of the burden of bailouts prompted investors to dump Irish bonds and worsened Ireland’s position. Weeks later, the country had to seek a bailout. And her demand that nations slash their budget deficits regardless of the economic impact has locked nations such as Greece, Spain and Portugal into long-term recession, with no prospect that they will be able to repay their debts at affordable interest rates. The growth stimulus she is now talking about, after heavy prompting from Mr Hollande, should have been a central part of the bailout packages right from the start.
→It would have spared millions of Europeans the pain that she would never have dared to impose on her own people. The labour market and welfare reforms that turned Germany into a European paragon and allowed it to lecture its neighbours were not Merkel’s achievement. They were pushed through by her predecessor…
…it is easy to preach fiscal discipline when your tax coffers are brimming thanks to three years of strong economic growth driven by a Chinese appetite for German cars.
But Mrs Merkel, bent on winning a third term in next year’s vote, is nothing if not astute…She won’t let herself go down in history as the woman who destroyed Europe. Germany’s sudden economic vulnerability could give her the justification she needs to change her mind and sign up to what Mr Hollande and much of the rest of Europe are clamouring for - jointly-issued euro bonds and direct loans to countries from the European Central Bank. Such moves would break German taboos and boost German borrowing costs, but they would douse the flames of the crisis and send an urgently needed, powerful signal to Europeans and the rest of the world: that the nations of this continent have not forgotten the lessons of their history and are committed irrevocably to their common currency and to closer integration.(source)
The far-left Syriza party may have come second but there is growing evidence tonight that “first is second.” Speaking before thousands of cheering supporters waving red and white flags (some emblazoned with the hammer and sickle) outside Athens’ ornate university building Tsipras told the crowd: “Some may think that they won the elections tonight but they did not. The people won. The policies of austerity have been defeated. They will not be able to push forward with them either in Greece or Europe.” Tsipras, who turns 38 next month, was joined on the stage by the World War II hero Manolis Glezos who in a first act of resistance against Nazi rule tore down the swastika from the Acropolis. The 92-year-old hailed the left’s capture of 27.1 % of the vote as “the beginning of the end.” “Who would have thought, or calculated, that we would go from 4.6 percent to this?” he enthused punching the air with his fist. “We must raise the flag, the flag of victory.” (SOURCE)