Taking stock of the Euro Crisis, in light of the 2014 Euro Parliament Elections: Long Radio Interview with Doug Henwood

Doug and Yanis 1Doug and Yanis 2

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  • At the end of this very enjoyable interview I find myself reminded of the magnitude of the “intricacies” and the dark forces at work with EU accompanied by your stark warning of a ‘day after Syriza win’ high stakes game that will take place.

    Two comments: As such I can not help but be utterly pessimistic on the ability of the movement of “reform Europe without destroying it” to succeed in the foreseeable future. In my opinion the time that it will take to reach that ‘new reformed state” should be as important of a decision factor as reaching the ‘new state’ itself. Respectfully this interview has given me the feeling that you under-weighing it as a factor.

    A long time horizon before such success will be detrimental on the future of many generations to come in peripheral countries like Greece. Does this sacrifice balance the very long term potential benefits of a reformed Europe ? And more importantly does it clearly and unequivocally out benefit any other alternatives for these peripheral countries ? (A debate that never even started in full earnest)

    In response to your instructions to “Syriza’ for dealing with the EU’s ‘poker game’ the ‘day after’, my opinion is that EU and particularly Germany have their best game theorists working on it already.

    Unless you can first convince “Syriza’ to engage you to create a full time team studying the potential paths to acheive an optimum outcome for Greece and secondly to adopt the proposals of that team, it will be very improbable to win that fight. The edge is clearly with the ones scientifically and in well advance prepare for these eventualities.

    My only hope is that ‘Syriza’ will listen to your advice as the stakes will be immensely higher should the Greek electorate gives it a mandate to govern.

  • One key question which remains unanswered by Tsipras/Syriza is his mysterious and seemingly insincere support for an organization which is inherently undemocratic. Is this a ploy to project a less menacing facade and thus a deception on the road to claiming power? Or is this because of his EU candidacy? (he does not want to discredit himself having already participated in the EU Parliament debate farce)

    Janet Daley puts it like this (very well BTW):

    “But what about the EU itself? Hasn’t it been shaken in its sublime self-regard? Won’t the mass revolts of electorates across its member states force it to reassess its own size, role, power, fundamental precepts, etc, etc, thus making Mr Cameron’s mission to reform it more practicable?

    Wrong again. EU institutions are transcendentally oblivious to the democratic will: they were, after all, created precisely to ensure that the serious business of government could never again be taken over by volatile popular movements of dubious provenance. One of the EU Commission’s first acts after the elections was to demand a further £1.76 billion in contributions from member states, in order to subsidise those whose problems are almost entirely attributable to EU economic policy.

    The European parliament, supposedly the elected voice of the governed, is so committed to the momentum of the federalist project that even in the wake of those spectacularly anti-EU election results it nominated Jean-Claude Juncker, an arch-federalist, as president of the Commission. Has anybody learnt anything? Presumably if there was to be an honest statement of basic principle engraved over the doors of the Brussels headquarters it would say: “The people are dangerous. Don’t listen to them.”
    It has become received wisdom that the reason for that massive electoral rebellion against the EU was that the people were throwing a harmless tantrum: they were just letting off steam because they knew that their votes in this election did not matter. And what do people do next when they realise that their votes don’t matter?”