European Parliament Elections: Our choice between Euro-loyalists, Euro-sceptics & Euro-critics

images (1)In this European Parliament election, Europeans are confronted with a stark trilemma; with three competing narratives on the state of the Union one of which we must adopt and vote accordingly.

The Euro-loyalist view

The European Union, however frustratingly slowly, is nevertheless moving in the right direction. From blunder to blunder and from crisis to crisis, Europe progresses along the right path. Even if the institutional changes are too half-hearted, they are in the direction that will bring a better foundation for shared prosperity.

Second Narrative: The Euro-sceptic view

The way the European Union has been structured, it has become a steel cage in which Europe’s people languish. An irredeemably undemocratic bureaucracy that the people of Europe should dismantle forthwith, beginning with the Eurozone and proceeding to the insufferable Brussels bureaucracy.

The Euro-critical view

The Eurozone, and therefore the European Union, is not moving slowly in the right direction but relatively briskly in the wrong direction toward the fragmentation of its core, the impoverishment of its periphery, the weakening of its economies and the dissolution of its democracy. The only way it can be prevented from going down that hideous path, as it should be prevented, is if Europeans confront head on and decisively the dominant Euro-loyalist views of the Brussels-Berlin-Frankfurt triangle and the policies these underpin.

Our vote in this election for the European Parliament will have to reflect one of these three views.

  • Euro-loyalism is served by the political parties behind the candidature for the Presidency of the European Commission of Mr Juncker, Mr Schultz and Mr Verhofstadt. Christian Democrats, Social Democrats and Liberals are united in their loyalty to the view that Europe is on the right track.
  • Euro-scepticism takes a great variety of forms: From UKIP and many of Britain’s tories to the Greek Communist Party, Ms Le Pen in France etc. They have no candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission both because it is impossible for such a diverse array of political forces to coordinate and because it would be paradoxical to run for an office which they want to see dismantled.
  • Euro-critics are a much smaller force. Their project to save Europe from its establishment by confronting the latter’s Euro-loyalism is not an easy sell amongst the downhearted and confused peoples of Europe. The Euro-critics best, and possibly only chance, is the candidature for the Presidency of the European Commission of Alexis Tsipras.

Our  task is, before we choose whom to cast our vote in favour of, to clarify in our own mind whether we agree with the main thrust of the Euro-loyalists, the Euro-sceptics or the Euro-critics. I, for one, being a declared Euro-critic, will be casting my ballot tomorrow for Alexis Tsipras for the reasons explained in the video below and which I have codified at the video’s end in the form of a synopsis that is reproduced below.

  • Europe is imperilled by the inane handling of the inevitable, never-ending Euro Crisis
  • Europe will continue to suffer as long as our leaders remain in denial of the systemic nature of the crisis
  • Our European Union has become an Austerity Union in the interests of the bankrupt bankers
  • Bailouts have sullied the notion of European solidarity
  • The Euro Crisis is wrecking our societies while the powers-that-be are celebrating its… ‘end’
  • The dream of shared prosperity has turned into a nightmare of mutual distrust
  • Rationality has suffered as much as the working people of both North and South Europe
  • Industry and the real economy have been sacrificed ton the altar of the financiers

IT IS THUS TIME FOR A CHANGE

Time for saying no to the failed, but ever so well paid, Brussels bureaucrats

Time for sensible policies that re-deploy existing European Union institutions and press them into the service of Europe’s citizens

Of all the candidates for the European Commission’s candidacy, only Alexis Tsipras is committed to Europe, to making the Euro work for Europeans, and to opposing the inane policies of a European establishment that is Europe’s greatest threat.

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34 Comments

    • Please, stop promoting the privileged idiot Farage. This is so conservative faux-radical that you should be ashamed of yourself. And the term EUSSR is also ridiculous: we can do the same for the USA if you like — demolishing the USASSR should be our objective.

    • Easy Guest …..Regretfully you sound like a TRUE FASCIST …..You make Fatage sound modest …..
      Everyone is entitled to her/his opinion and NOBODY should EVER be ashame of their opinion. Please counteract others believes with constructive informative arguments.

      Resorting to insults is fascism at its best; sadly an often encountered attitude within both the extreme left and the extene right…. Respectfully panos

    • Dean: Agree with you but respect Yanis’s valiant efforts. I am a Euroskeptic and want to see countries out of the cage ASAP, starting with Greece but more likely first the larger countries taking the lead and then Greece following.

    • Sorry Xenos:

      The “idiot Farage” has been empowered by the people and in an EU country that is sophisticated enough to play an intelligent game vis-a-vis protecting effectively its national interests.

      Your comments show that you are neither a good negotiator nor a deal maker. In an effective negotiation (despite your true intentions) you never say to the other side that you accept its framework and that you think that they are good people and that you will try to change them from “within”. Whether you mean it or not, you express deep dissatisfaction and you ask for the best terms possible only coming to a compromise after the other side has invested an enormous amount of time and can’t back out easily. Syriza and the radical Left lack this specific ability to engage the other side for a long period of time (an absolute prerequisite in any negotiation at this level). Their demands are dismissible within seconds leaving them empty handed and unable to engage on any potential deal at a state level.

      Bleeding hard liberals are horrible negotiators. You just give the store away and then you try to make it up on some insignificant details. There is no such thing as changing a dictatorship from within based on good intentions. This is a fantasy which also explains why the Left is Europe finds itself in the wretched condition of ineffectiveness and lack of broad appeal. Not that change can’t come from dynamic minorities. But the European radical Left lacks such dynamism and know how.

      Therefore before you dismiss the “idiot Farage” with all of his attached labels learn from his approach because it appears to be working. You may have the best ideas but until and unless you are able to convince others and win their vote you are not going anywhere. And that’s real life you know.

    • @Dean (and others): I am not a politician and I have no illusions about my ability to persuade people with limited understanding. I prepare academic reports and expert analyses, which is what I am good at doing. In my opinion, those who are good at mass persuasion are liars, crooks and charlatans — the mainstream of politics, actually.

      The fact is that Farage is from an upper middle class background, reeking of privilege, and has been spouting his anti-European rhetoric for decades. He has no ideas about how to improve the situation of the UK, other than to secede from the EU. He does not even have an intelligent strategy for managing that.

      His populist anti-foreigner rhetoric has always played well with the British public, and now has reached levels of support that look impressive. This is owing to the failure of mainstream politics to solve serious problems in Europe: it is not because Farage has any good ideas. If people are stupid enough to vote UKIP then so be it: the same happened many times in the UK, espeically with Thatcher and Blair. Basically, stupid people make stupid decisions. Feel free to be part of that mass stupidity.

    • Xenos:

      I am sure calling others stupid elevates you automatically on the intelligence ranks. However, whether you represent Labour in the UK or the Left in Greece, the bottom line is that the center left in Europe paid a terrible price by supporting the EMU.

      What you fail to understand is that euroskepticism is not a product of the Farages of this world but rather a very predictable reaction and expected outcome to the oxymoron called the eurozone.

      You delight in calling others stupid yet this naive europhilia you are supporting which is nothing more than a wholesale approval of Merkel’s policies in preserving the euro for Germany and herself in exchange for misery and loses for all others, is – I have to say – not an intelligent proposition.

      People(voters) are much wiser than you think. If they thought the Left was up to job for setting things right in Europe (replacing injustice with justice) then they would have given the Left the tools to do it. In this case they opted to give such tools to those they stand more to the right of Merkel ( a prospect that by itself ought to be terrifying to her since the opposition comes from the same ideological camp where she derives her strength) because their message was more persuasive. At least let a sense of the famous British fair play prevail here and admit your side did not have what it takes.

      Take comfort on the fact you are not alone. Even poor Samaras – a politician of average intelligence – made the mistake to support the Merkel policies (which are cleverly packaged into the “Europe must survive” false proposition) and just suffered a humiliating defeat in his own ground. Of course in the case of Greece choosing Syriza (radical left) as the Eurosceptic conduit goes against European trend and wastes the vote into a marginal (less than 7%) EuroPaliament faction. But that’s o.k. because we have known for some time that things in Greece are uber confused and kind of screwed up. So, let’s forgive my fellow Greeks since they don’t know any better.

      The message is very clear from these latest Euro-elections. Euroscepticism is here to stay and it will be manifested more and more in the politics at national level rather than the mickey mouse business of the Euro-Parliament. And those politicians who fail to comprehend the clear and loud message ( that the EU must be completely overhauled or perish ) are on the path of self-destruction.

      My advice to you is not to shoot the messenger and try using your superior intellect to comprehend that Merkelism is intolerable even in its milder forms. Long live the free citizens of Europe. Down with the oppression and the undemocratic EUSSR.

    • @Dean: you are living in a little fantasy world that bears no relation to reality. Your grasp of the history of the UK and its relation to Europe is clearly about zero, from the silly comments you are making. First of all, the UK did not join the euro, so the eurocrisis is nothing to do with the support for Farage. It is actually no more than a protect vote, because the two major parties (and even more so, the libdems) are seen as a disaster.

      In fact, what explains the support for Farage is that the UK workiing class always disliked Europe, and had to be manipulated by centre left and centre right over many decades. The far right and the far left always rejected EC membership, and Farage is part of the racist and xenophobic far right. He is also neoliberal and has no economic policy proposals. The left in the UK has almost disappeared, as in the USA.

      What is really astounding is the gullibility of the mass public — which you are facilitating with your comments on a discussion site — in accepting that the problems in the developed world are unrelated to financial capital, declining competitiveness, major demographic problems and the corruption of politics by the rich. Instead, all the focus is on immigrants and the quasi-federal structure of Europe. Smart trick, that fools most people, it seems. Which of the mass parties supported actually have any policies to deal with the economic crisis? If that is not stupidity on the part of the voters, then I have no idea what you think the word means. Of course, the complicity of the mass media in all of this is also very important.

      As a sidenote, let me remind you that if you started a political campaign to break up the USA, it is 100% certain that you would either be prosecuted for treason or you would quickly disappear one way or another. The fact that the EU does not yet have this institutional solidity is a problem not only in allowing the Germans to set conditions, but also is a wonderful thing for Europe’s enemies.

    • O.k. Xenos:

      Since you are an academic let me explain to you an aspect of the European reality that seems to escape you and in fact Varoufakis is equally guilty of completely ignoring the same (misrepresenting would be the correct term).

      You fellows are railing at the “fact” (fabricated in IMHO) that the cause of the problem in the eurocrisis is the so called support for the banks in exchange for austerity.

      This is wrong and a false proposition in its core. It so happens that liquidity in Europe (for many generations now and for as long as people could remember) is provided by private banks. In the US the Fed can and will intervene directly in the markets when liquidity problems arise. Europe can’t and therefore you need private banks alive to provide this vital function to the economies of Europe.

      Therefore you need to shift your narrative into the true issue which is none other than this: Germany’s survival and with it the survival of the EU depends on the survival of the euro. The support for European banks (at taxpayer expense) should be correctly read as the ONLY practical way of supporting the euro (which according to the Merkeloids must survive at all cost, even if a few million Europeans must die in the process). If the euro collapses then the EU goes the same way and Germany sinks. Nothing is more to the core of German national interest than the survival of the euro.

      What I have been trying to tell you for the last four years is that letting the euro sink is a good thing. Apart from your aversion for neo-lib policies, a collapse of the euro leads to freedom and reconstruction of Europe on a more equitable and justifiable basis. But Greece should not become the guinea pig for such; it must be a coordinated effort by many European countries acting all at once and if need be excluding Germany from the euro (that is a punishment which Germany would understand to its core – in fact the only punishment of any significance).

      Therefore, we seem to be advocating the same thing only you don’t realize it. My own point of view is that I consider the Left in general amateurish and lacking the ability to execute an intelligent game of producing the desired results (in other words not fit for the job). If I have made a mistake in my assessment then feel free to have the Left (UK Labour party and all) in Europe become the equivalent of the UEFA Champion of votes. At that point I would admit my mistake and join your ranks. Until such happens I am afraid that you will have to suffer unrelenting criticism of the mickey mouse policies that the radical and center left advocate which lead to nowhere other than a lot of noise and hot air.

    • Dean,
      Very well written.
      hIf there was a serious nationalist party in Greece and not the likes of XA and ANEL they would have a lot of the Syriza votes right now. People are fed-up.
      On my way to the Athens airport last week I saw a Syriza bus with big red letters in English saying something to the effect – ‘Promoting the left in Europe’.
      If that is what 27% unemployed Greece is exporting to Europe then we are in trouble.

      On my way to the Athens airport a week ago I saw

    • @Dean
      Nobody in their right mind is denying that the design of the eurozone was fundamentally flawed and could not last long. This was commented on from the very outset; and as I have posted here some time ago, the expert committee’s report on the design was rejected because the convergence criteria would have confined the eurozone to northern Europe. However, two facts defeat your argument.

      First, that the UK was very badly affected by the banking collapse and has chosen austerity policies near-identical to those of the Troika.

      Second, that the US banking collapse precipitated the eurozone crisis, and there are in fact two separate but interlinked crises within the eurozone. Arguably, the euro crisis is the more severe, not least because it permitted Germany to set the agenda for the entire euro area. However, the international financial crisis remains the real problem across the world, and you appear to be supporting the right wing press in denying this.

      My principal comment is that no political party in the recent elections chose to put forward a policy on solving the banking crisis. Instead, discussion was focused on trivia such as immigration and EU membership. The fact that Europe has tended to rely on private banking for money supply is no reason not to discuss the problem: if anything, it is a clear reason to think about more public banks with the function of controlling money supply and credit and not allowing private banks to screw around with hte system any more, sucking money and massive paychecks out of it.

      As far as solutions to our problems are concerned, I do not know why you think I support any political party. I have stated recently on this blog that the optimal solution for Greece could be a collapse of the euro and recreation of national or regional currencies, but Greek exit as a first would likely be far too costly (on top of the last year’s economic collapse).However, supporting vicious Nazi parties, or even the racist and unpleasant UKIP party, in the hope that Europe will collapse is just absurd. You may as well pray in church for divine intervention as to vote for far right thugs with no concept of society, economy or polity. In fact, I would much prefer you did the former.

    • Xenos:

      Political correctness is irrelevant to me at this stage. I don’t support UKIP because it’s not a Greek political party. My observation is that UKIP provides the kind of leadership needed/necessary to bring the German Europe down. Initially I thought Yanis and the Syriza folk were also moving in that direction but I have been repeatedly disappointed.

      As to the banking crisis you are referring to, there is no more banking crisis. To suggest there is one at this point in time is purely a populist position and it’s wrong to suggest such unsubstantiated position because it grossly misleads many folk who correctly internalize that there is something wrong in this world and are therefore compelled to react to any uniformed suggestions of true cause. What we have here is a worldwide movement of exceedingly strong anti-establishment sentiment which is manifested in various forms. Call it a revolt of those governed against the elites that govern them.

      Populist Merkel (in order to deflect criticism for her unquestionable mediocrity in matters of European leadership) has ordered the European banks (though EU mechanisms she fully controls) to increase their set aside (rainy day) cash provisions (the so called Tier 1 capital) to prevent another episode a la 2008 meltdown when banks needed extra liquidity but had not enough capital of their own to cover their needs. This naive approach is actually restricting banks towards providing credit and liquidity in the European economy because they are more concerned in hoarding cash as a predictable response to such unintelligent decision of restricting lending capital. Such eurozone hostility towards credit liquidity also further depresses the eurozone economy making would be borrowers not credit worthy. Therefore EU banks hoard cash (because they are ordered to by the authorities) and are unable to provide credit due to declining credit worthiness caused by deflation and declining economic metrics.

      If the global system is to experience another episode of a substantial international credit crisis ( and it might) no amount of set aside provisions (Tier 1 protection) would be able to save the eurozone banks which again would become the responsibility of states to rescue because as we repeatedly said there is no other way to provide credit in Europe other than through private banks. This is a major design flaw in Europe which the US does not have. The US banking system is far more agile plus it has complete dominance over that of Europe. The Americans are fully capable of unleashing various forms of financial Armageddon over any other part of the world on demand and to simplify it please don’t ever think of provoking one because the consequences would very severe for the unfortunate recipient of such financial warfare. As an uncontested superpower the US will never surrender such capacity voluntarily so it’s a mater of core national interest for the US which others have no say in it (and rightly so).

      Your position that the UK is experiencing austerity and some sort of financial crisis is not correct either. UK has its own currency (and thus by definition is immune to the eurozone madness) plus its GDP growth rates are far better that the EU average. So, the UK is in a class of its own and in fact represents a true alternative to the German model which has been catastrophic for eurozone prisoner countries.

      In summation, I am not in anyone’s ideological camp. I know my enemy (the German EU model) and I wish to form alliances in bringing it down. I am open to alliances towards both the left and the right as long as they can do the job which is to cause maximum harm to those who deliberately oppress my country and millions of innocent Greek citizens.

    • @Dean

      You are like a politician who, when asked if he supports or opposes a specific policy, replies that the grass has never been so green. What the f**k are you talking about? The UK is in very poor shape, with a collapsing welfare system, declining employment concealed by legal tricks such as zero hours contracts, and a future that looks bleak. Its official austerity programme is obvious to all, but not to you.

      The fact that it has its own currency is not relevant to the banking collapse. You are just living in cloud cuckoo land if you think that banking problems have been solved. Nothing has been solved, and we are engaged in a bitter struggle for our futures against the hijacking of democracy by financial capital, with the real economy and real people and real jobs paying a very heavy price for the protection of banks.

      Next time you respond to a post by me, could you try to address actual points in my post instead of writing crap that has nothing to do with it? That would be much appreciated.

    • Xenos:

      Xenos:

      There is “no protecting the banks” plan. The undemocratic forces are protecting the euro, not the banks. The banks are just an instrument of disbursement, a tool, a mechanism, a procedure.

      The toxic part is what they are dispensing which is the euro.

      The UK banks are just fine. You just like drama in your life and that’s o.k.. You are an NGO guy and your view of the world is truly unusual and uncommon. NGOs are always angry at something.

      And if I am a politician as you say then there is no hope that I would ever address your personal issues. This is not about you or me. This about many victims who demand justice.

    • Dean: you cannot get the most basic of facts correct and you insist on working with stereotypes (a Greek cultural defect). As a matter of fact, I have nothing to do with any NGOs and I have no idea why you have written such nonsense. On the matter of the UK economy, it seems that you are quite happy to accept the propaganda from various neoliberal quarters without having the slightest idea of what you are talking about. You are obsessed with pro-Greece and anti-German sentiment, and this model informs your view of the universe. It is not accurate, to put it nicely.

  • Dear Mr Varoufakis,
    You are right about the three narratives and the choice we have as European citizens and I concur with the Euro-critical view as a person, but I think you are wrong about Alexis Tsipras and his party. SYRIZA is promoting the idea of leaving Euro zone, their are more Euro-refusers than Euro-critics as you said, maybe Tsipras himself has a Euro-critical view but the majority of his party wishes to leave euro-zone (more particularly the Euro-monetary zone).
    From my point of view, here in Greece we do not have a political party, which it has clear thoughts about Europe’s future, and it’s difficult for Greek Euro-critics to find where to cast their ballot.
    All the Greek political parties have a tendency to speak differently when they are addressed to a Greek audience comparing to the language they use when they discuss with our European partners. This fact makes the Greek parties at least inconsistent.

  • Yanis, I am in total agreement with the choices as you present. In fact, I was thinking exactly the same this morning before reading your piece.

    Although I am of the Right and will vote my party in the Euroelections, I intend to vote for Dourou/ SYRIZA in the Periphery because 1.) she does not carry the baggage of real estate scandals, etc. of Sgouros and his cronies and 2.) because I want this present government to fall and have fresh Parliamentary elections in Greece ASAP.

    I have no qualms whatsover to see SYRIZA with a big lead over ND. Likewise I would like to see ND downsized to 10-12% of the vote at this first stages. Parties like Polydoros, GD and ANEL are assisting in this endeavor.

    Let’s hope that we collective bring some relief to this EU mess ASAP, even though we do not agree on the solutions. My position being a looser union and opposition to a transfer union because 1.) European people need more freedom and flexibility on the local level which is also far more functional, the over centralization in Brussels and hegemony of German with its merchantilism is a serious threat to political and economic freedom of the European south, and 3.) the history of transfer systems like the Italian Mezzogiorno or former East German is not a pretty or desirable model for Greece.

    I am happy for this collaboration with you on the Periphery with Dourou.

  • Alike any other ‘innovative and distruptuve’ movement the Euro-skeptics are in need for a leading personality.

    It is my opinion that the mere choice of Mr. Tsipras is causing dentrimental damage to this so very important and crucially needed “third” choice as you so accurately classified.

    As much I would like to support this group I can not ignore the importance of leadership and execution. Let’s just hope that in four years the Euro Sceptics can find more convincing leadership.

    Happy Elections everyone and let’s hope that the Euro Elections results are no as utterly disappointing as the last week’s Greek local elections.

  • The reason I’ve always liked your viewpoint on specific issues, Yani, is that I find it more sceptical than that of the Euro-sceptics and more critical than that of the Euro-critics, especially the arrogant and ignorant “economists” that comprise Alexis Tsipras’ team of “economic advisors”.

    As for the Euro-loyalists who have a lot to learn from the “modesty” of your (and Stuart’s) proposals, it’s funny you mention three, only to misspell the names of two: It’s Juncker – not Yunker, and Verhofstadt – not Verthoven (unless there’s some humour in the misspelling).

    Also, Austerity Union is not only in the interests of the bankrupt bankers (Mario Draghi – for one – cannot be bankrupted) but in the interest of a Brave New European Empire, and the most brutal form of Financial Colonialism for the weaker “member states”.

    Brussels bureaucrats are not only failed, but, more importantly, extremely “well paid” by their puppeteers and corrupted to the bone by the latter’s “lobbies”. Same holds true for MEP salaries and assorted bonuses or perks (incl. 185,000 euros “good-bye bonus” for each MEPs completing his 5-year tenure), which none has so far denounced or refused to accept.

    • Thanks for this Dimitri. I am afraid the mis-spelling was not intentional-humourful, but rather the result of what happens when one tries to blog using a… smart phone… (Note the addition of ‘well paid’ to the ‘failed’.)

  • Let me share with you a prime example why Syriza is not “it”.

    As you know Greek political parties chose a few months back their euro-Parliament candidates. Apart from the fact that we now know that Greece is fielding almost 1300 candidates for 21 slots (which by itself tell you that such candidates are going after a lucrative job regardless of any true European credentials), Syriza went through the same process of chosing its own candidates.

    Prominent among the candidate names was Yanis’s. Yanis would have been the perfect choice for Euro-Parliament. Not only he is well versed (impressive body of work) on the nature of the European problem but he is an urbane citizen of the world with fluency on many languages. One would say Yanis Varoufakis is the European arche-type of what a model MEP could be (no I am not placating you Yanis)

    Yet the Varoufakis candidacy was torpedoed by some internal Syriza infighting for lesser qualified candidates. Yanis whose integrity is exceptional, quickly withdrew his candidacy as not to cause a problem for Tsipras. I frequently question Yanis’s judgement on many issues but his character/integrity are unquestionable and he would have made perhaps a star MEP (helping to spread Syriza’s European appeal).

    Yanis to his credit and as a good soldier continues to offer unwavering support for Syriza which is consistent with his admirable traits as a high profile messenger of the leftist cause.

    However, what a wasted opportunity this was for Syriza. And what does it say about Syriza’s ability to promote talent and engage in the European discussion in an effective manner.

    So, Yani eventhough I admire your support of Syriza don’t you think that your own experience in this missed opportunity precisely shows that Syriza is not yet ready for the role that you so unselfishly wish to promote for it. To me this is symptomatic of what ails Syriza and why we still have a very long way from changing Europe from within. To say that you are a euro-critic and then be denied by the Syriza the most effective spot for you to practice your craft shows an inherent Syriza weakness in this regard. And to go back to “debate mode” it sort of destroys your own argument.

    So Syriza had a “match in heaven” candidate and failed to launch him. why ???????????

    • Two reasons Dean in my opinion.
      Firstly the Syriza leadrship do not wish someone better than them to gain power within their party.
      Secondly Tsipras is not able to comprehend nor to asses the “chance in heaven” presented to them by Yiannis candidency.

      The result Greece looses again the chance for capable representation and SYRIZA the only chance they had to sound intelligent in the Euro parliament.

      As to the increased number of candidates there is a possibility for a more optimistic reason. This time around a lot of Greeks felt the urgency that something had to be done differently and expressed their desire to contribute with their personal candidencies.

      Kudos to Yiannis for remaining a “good soldier” until the end; after the fiasco with his candidency he had every reason to distance himself.

      I believe that Yiannis is a true believer of the need to reform Greece. And he is willing to keep fighting for that.

      My humble advice to Yiannis drawn from a long personal and similar experience: please be watchful as such fiascos could be damaging.

    • FYI: There was no fiasco with my ‘candidacy’. Alexis Tsipras offered me a place on SYRIZA’s ticket. In fact he insisted that I should accept. I replied that the European Parliament is not where I want to be in the next five years but that I would help him and SYRIZA – as I have been doing. The story about how my candidacy was blocked by forces within SYRIZA is a complete fabrication.

    • Again Yani I have to disagree. Your calling was/is in the EU Parliament.

      Thanks for letting us know about the fabrication part but this is not how we heard the story.

      BTW, this article below only scratches the surface. The Milios part which is not reported in the story was truly horrific (some economic adviser/advisor if you ask me). He is the one behind the plot. You think this guy is fit for MEP? Based on what qualifications? I am ready to be impressed; try me.

      http://www.tovima.gr/en/article/?aid=586556

    • Is this a democratically organised party where candidates have to go through a party internal election contest, and win over contenders. Or, as it sounds from what you write, Yanis, can the boss of Syriza freehandedly decide who gets which place on the list? I hope this is just a misinterpretation on my side.

    • Like any democratic party, the party leader has the privilege to put forward a list of names to the elected committee that makes the final decision. No party can prosper if its internal democracy neuters the party leader and denies her/him the right to choose the troopers with whom she/he will be doing battle.

    • Thanks Yanis for the clarification. It appears that the rules and views within democratic parties are quite a bit different. At least in Germany, there is no such right for a party leader to, well, ‘recommend’ a list of preferred candidates for public office. Quite the contrary, every party member has by law explicitly the same right to apply for a place on the lists. So as for

      “No party can prosper if its internal democracy neuters the party leader and denies her/him the right to choose the troopers with whom she/he will be doing battle.”

      this appears to be a rather Führer – centrist approach which we Germans don’t share at all, we learned our lesson…

  • Dear Yanis, I seriously doubt that Alexis Tsipras is 100% committed to Euro and I have no doubt that his party, as a whole, IS NOT. So, although I find your suggestions/ proposals, all these years, ABSOLUTELY right, I have to say that, as a Greek voter, I really have very serious doubts that a big/ clear victory of SYRISA tomorrow could really help Greece or EU. To make Mrs Merkel or a politician like Mr Junker accept your ideas that would be THE SOLUTION of the problem for me! But I really don’t know how…Very strange situation…

  • Nigel Farage was a guest on the radio show of James O’Brien. I think that it helped many people realize that he was a scam from the beginning. From scandals concerning some party members having direct connections to nazi parties, through his own “success” in being in charge of various companies that have bankrupted, to the fact that he thinks that Romanians are inferior to Germans (based on what?). He is lying and using populist rhetorics to gain votes. But he knows nothing. He can say that everyone is idiotic. It is easy. No added value. Immigration is not a crime. It is a desperate attempt to change your life in order to have something better than before. Many fail, but they try. People like Farage want to make it more difficult for them. They are everywhere. We should fight them. At all costs. People are not illegal!

  • First time I post here. Thanks for this blog, first. I am not Greek so I may not be familiar with your Parties.
    The gist of all of our problems is, in my opinion: can a “currency” exist without a State and a Central Bank? Can a currency float in thin air, with no lenders of last resort, no fund transfers from Country to Country as in all Federal States? California is a failed State; could it exist if the FED didn’t transfer funds to them? Let me doubt it.

    So bottom line, we need to get out of the European fake Union; leaving the eurozone will not meet our needs. We need to exit, rediscuss the most fundamental goals to achieve to have a common State (if this is what we want at all!) and tell Germans that fake thresholds like the 2% inflation one make no sense for everybody but for them! Deflation is good for them, not for us.

    My “eurocent”

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