Athens riot police fire tear gas at an anti-fascist protest calling for action against the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party following a rapper’s murder. Photo: Milos Bicanski/Getty
No country has displayed more of a “backslide in democracy” than Greece, the British thinktank Demos has said in a study highlighting the crisis-plagued country’s slide into economic, social and political disarray.
Released on the same day that judicial authorities ordered an investigation into a blog posting by a group of reservists in the elite special forces calling for a coup d’etat, the study singled out Greece and Hungary for being “the most significant (Read more…)
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Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Austerity, Democracy, Eurozone Crisis, neoliberalism
Merkel and dominoes …
One of the fascinating things about high level crises like the eurozone one, is the role played by the men and women who have the power or lack the power to influence events. And the key person in the past five years or so is a woman some nicknamed The Iron Lady – Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. Der Spiegel has a fascinating article describing her practical approach to the eurozine crisis, which includes this:
For months, Merkel wavered over whether or not Greece should remain in the euro zone. As recently as summer, she couldn’t decide
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Chancellor Merkel plumps for the domino theory over the ballast theory
United States of Europe?
Financial integration is one major step along the road towards eventual political integration into one massive new federal state, the USE (United States of Europe), and yesterday a significant move was made in this direction: Europe’s finance ministers have taken another major step towards closer integration, with a significant transfer of authority from national governments to the ECB, he says.
The EU had already agreed that the ECB would act as chief supervisor of eurozone banks. But the deal gives the ECB powers to close down eurozone banks that do not follow the rules. It also . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Europe takes another big step towards the United States of Europe
Lead or leave. Currency speculator George Soros laid down the law for Germany: change or get out of the way:
He warned that the split between creditor and debtor countries in the euro risked becoming permanent, with debtor nations condemned to low growth because they are forced to pay a high premium for access to credit. European union was liable to fall apart under the pressure, he added. George Soros
Soros singled out Germany as the country that should take responsibility for this “class divide” in the eurozone.
“In my judgment, the best course of action is to persuade
. . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: The Eurozone: George Soros is dead wrong
It’s not just the politicians who make decisions about how to rescue the foundering Euro: a Constitutional Court in Germany also has a say on the most important decisions: Germany’s Constitutional Court
Germany’s top court has rejected calls to block the permanent eurozone rescue fund – the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) – and the European fiscal treaty. Leader Angela Merkel called it “a good day”, while markets rallied in relief. But the Constitutional Court imposed conditions including a cap on Germany’s contribution, which it said could only be overruled by the German parliament. Another Hitler? The Role of the Constitutional . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Eurozone: Move over politicians, here come the German Judges!
Mario Draghi, the president of the E.C.B., has managed to outflank some German opposition and gain approval for the European Central Bank to buy bonds of Eurozone countries, in an effort to save the Euro. ‘Super Mario’ Draghi
This is how the New York Times describes his deed: The European Central bank took its most ambitious step yet toward easing the euro zone crisis, assuming sweeping new powers to throw its unlimited financial clout behind an effort to protect Spain and Italy from financial collapse… Mario Draghi, the E.C.B. president, overcame objections by Germany and . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: European political leaders beat back international financial pirates
Think about what you know of the earth shaking Reformation struggles of centuries past, and then study this chart: Reformation and Rates? This delightful quote summarizes the articles main thrust: One German commentator, Stephan Richter, has suggested mischievously that the eurozone’s problems would have been prevented if only Luther had been one . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: The Reformation Redux and today’s Eurozone troubles
It’s an ill wind that blows no-one any good, and the eurozone euro crisis is not such a wind, it seems. Having taken major steps in past decades to set up the European Union, including the euro and eurozone, the European states are now being asked to take a giant leap forward. European authorities have unveiled their vision for the future, which gives them much greater powers. It includes the creation of a European treasury, which would have powers over national budgets… The 10-year plan is designed to strengthen the eurozone and prevent future crises, but critics say it will . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: The New Roadmap to The United States of Europe (USE)
Thank heavens for democracy!
In a world taken to the brink of financial implosion because of lax regulations of financial institutions, incompetence of regulatory authorities, pure greed on the part of the stakeholders in our investment banking industries (banks, merchant banks, regulatory agencies, regulatory authorities, lawyers, auditors and the like) and politicians effectively bought by the financial industry (in the USA especially, and to a slightly lesser extent in the UK), and a reluctance by politicians to buck the system and institute proper reforms, the voters in France and Greece have taken a stand. They have said No to . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Eurozone: The coming New Deal