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EDITORIAL

 

DSC_2807bEditorial

March 2018

Issue Number 468

 

Several EU Heads of State recently visited Greece, supporting the country’s position for the termination of austerity, agreeing that mistakes have been made at the expense of the Greek people and underlining the need for an end to the austerity policies that widen social inequality within the EU and trigger populism. Those institutions responsible for mistaken economic policies that have had such a negative effect on the Greek people need to take responsibility for their actions. It is little less than outrageous that the social consequences of decisions that are taken are not in fact understood and offered to people as choices.

The French President on his recent State Visit also acknowledged “that great mistakes, with great effect on the Greek people, have been made and that these were mistakes of the EU”. This means that we cannot continue adjusting out populations to economics models that not only have failed, but have not submitted themselves to empirical tests in relation to their social consequences. If Parliaments and the mediating institutions continue to leach influence, because they no longer have any power, since influences are coming from those who have no accountability, then we have a crisis.

Europe, at present, is engaged with a number of pressing issues, including, Brexit, Turkey, the Western Balkans, migration policy, trade, taxation and a fully functioning single market. Leaders of the 19 Eurozone countries are discussing long-term reforms of the EMU, including proposals such as the creation of a fiscal capacity for the Eurozone. Europeans need immediate actions, not more discussions. This month’s Italian election results were not just a disconcerting measure of Italy’s mood, but also a harbinger of the troubles that may yet lie ahead for Europe. Italian voters, like many other European voters, have flocked to anti-establishment, Eurosceptic parties and rejected mainstream, traditional political parties.

Also this month, after the longest government building process in modern Germany, Angela Merkel was re-elected as Chancellor of a renewed ‘grand coalition’. But it seems that the reality is that the new German Government is not looking so much to the future, but to the past. And what now is the outcome of an election which rejected the previous coalition? Another grand coalition, with precisely the same actors. Germany should be poised to resume its traditional role as the leader of the continent, to chart its destiny. Hopefully the 177 page-long coalition agreement will be the new bible for a stable and reliable governance, charting Europe’s future and not struggling to maintain the continent’s current arrangements.

 

Nicolas Boutsicos
Managing Director – Editor

diplomat@otenet.gr

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