This second of two essays on military spending and the
EU crisis, explores
the role of the European arms trade, corruption and the role of arms exporting
countries in fuelling a debt crisis, and why these 'odious' debts need to be
written off. See Part One here.
The extraordinary bounce-back of the banks
reveals the most disturbing, but least obvious, largely invisible, feature of
the unfinished European crisis: the transformation of democratic taxation
states into post-democratic banking states.
simple truth unpalatable to Eurozone authorities is that small peripheral EU economies
and even big economies like Spain and Italy, are victims, not designers of the
liberalised financial architecture that was built way back in 1992, repeating earlier
twentieth century failed experiments that led to financial
crisis, immiseration and war.
The justification for the
‘rescue’ plan for Cyprus appears reasonable: taxpayers should not have to pay
for the costly mistakes of bankers and ‘tax havens’ should be eliminated. But the
‘bail-in’ plan does not achieve these objectives.
and German overriding of the European Commission over the Stability Pact can be
seen, ten years later, to have been disastrous. A vision more powerful,
more engaging, more profound than “common interest” is now required if Europe is to survive, and divided Cyprus is a test case.
Harsh measures imposed
on Cypriot political and financial authorities to address bank failures reveal,
once again, that the entire architecture of the EU is in tatters. The
geopolitics surrounding the Greek Cypriot crisis is pulling the EU further
apart and into the unknown.
EU accession in 2004 did little
if anything to make runaway bankers accountable; on the contrary, the so-called
institutional ‘independence’ of the Central Bank making the Governor
accountable to the ECB rather than having any democratic accountability to the
people who would be immediately affected, made the bankers more unaccountable.
Parts 2 (50 mins) and 3 (50 mins) of the generalists' introduction to modern Greek history take us from 1920 to the present day. Part 1, 1820-1920, is here, and the two articles that have served as anchors for the conversation are here (Doxiadis on the historical roots of current economic structure) and here (Takis Pappas on the political history that led to crisis)
It is time to stop the chorus
of blackmail assailing Syriza, the radical Greek left party poised to win the
Sunday election, from all sort of pundits, international officials and, above
all, Merkel - along the lines that if their anti-bailout platform wins the June
17 contest then Greece would be pushed out of the Euro. For, the real issue now
is not about economics but about the geopolitics of the eastern Mediterranean
The chances of an internal resolution of the enduring Cyprus conflict are receding. This reinforces the temptation of many to embrace a “European solution” as the way forward. But the European Union's understanding of democracy is less principled than Greek Cypriots would like it to be, says Hubert Faustmann.
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