Thursday, October 7, 2010

Why push for a common EU language?

Various people believe, that Europe should have a common language. And for some of them the "Esperanto" language is ideal to be the future language of EU and Europe.

If any language should dominate Europe in the future, will do it gradually, naturally and because people will chose it to be the "lingua franca."

And this language already exists; it is English. I do not see why we need to start teaching a manufactured language to our children from scrap.

It will take lots of money to train and educate enough teachers to speak the language perfectly, so that they will be able to teach the millions of young Europeans. Never mind the millions of euros needed to spent printing books for every school across the EU.

This could be a waste of money, especially now that there is an economic crisis in our continent. It would be preferable to see this money being spent in supporting other projects like the Erasmus, that are far more important.

Even if we do agree on Esperanto being our common future language we must start doing it now, as soon as possible so it can establish itself with the future generations. But there is just no will in the current economic climate, or the capability for something like that for the foreseeable future. Until then, more and more people across Europe will speak English and it will be far more difficult for Esperanto to take over.

But why it would be a good idea to have a common European language? Well firstly we must make it clear that we are not speaking of a replacement of our national languages, rather the establishment of a second official pan-European language.

Most Europeans would be against the replacement of our national languages by a single one. My native language is Greek,a language that survived for thousands of years and I do not see why we should abandon it now. The same sentiments have most people of Europe.

We could have though, a second official language in our continent. Either that is English (that it would make sense, since most of us communicate in English) or any other existing European language like French or German, if the British decide to withdraw from the EU.

A second official language that will exist in all member states and will allow even more free movement in people, goods and services. I would love for example to move to Finland, but since I do not speak Finnish it is difficult. There would be very few companies and job opportunities there that would employ me without me speaking the native language.

If there was a second official language,people could move to any European country more easily without having to learn the national language beforehand. That would be of course a temporary situation to help people in their new beginnings. But they would be obliged to learn the native language after they moved and decided to stay for good in that country.

In the beginning they could find employment in all available jobs apart from state and government posts, the army,police, public sector position and as high ranked executives. Once they learned the native language,they could be employed everywhere and have equal employment rights.

And that so that they will be motivated to learn the native language, if they want to have a better future and become fully integrated in their adopted country. We must value the diversity of European languages and wish it to remain so. But having so many languages across Europe, though it enriches our collective heritage it also makes it more difficult for people to move around.

By living and working in a number or other countries, European people not only will be learning more languages and coming in contact with other European people and cultures. They will also gather more working experience like new skills, new way of thinking and doing business. In that way we will create a multilingual, diverse and highly skilled European workforce but also a more "European" populace.

Both Europeans but also immigrants in Europe will be able to find employment across Europe, and companies will find it easier to establish themselves in another country and attract workers to employ. Immigrant workers won't be bound to a few countries, jobs or cities that can find employment by using old colonial languages only. When the language borders will break,then the borders of Europe will truly collapse.

Pan-European TV Channel, more European movies please!!

I grew up in a Europe that most of the films come from on single industry: Hollywood. We in Europe not only are well able to make good films, but we have a large market to promote them. Funny isn't it? The largest market in the world, can not be dominated by internal film "products".

I also think that Hollywood has become a mass propaganda machine, not just for America but for the whole capitalist system. We mostly see films about their lifestyle, trends, values, way of thinking.

 We are being "Americanized," while we should be promoting and safeguarding our own values. Our American "cousins" are getting a huge advantage in dominating the world, by exporting their culture. And not just that, but they are getting a lot of revenue by dominating the film industry.

It is time to promote "Europeaness" and Europe in every chance we get. Our European culture,cities, countryside and lifestyle. Not to dominate the world as the Hollywood tries to do, rather to get to know each other and get that feeling of having something common. European movies in many European languages.

We have already many Film Festivals in Europe, we could start linking or synchronizing our film industries and create a base. Perhaps in Cannes in France, or any other city that hosts a well established film festival: Berlin, Venice, Dublin, Thessaloniki.
How about a common T.V. channel? A pan-European T.V. channel to broadcast not just news like the Euronews, but also programs, movies, documentaries,music, cartoons, events from all over Europe, even soap operas, T.V. series and so on.

Imagine what great initiative that would give to young European directors, artists, cartoonists, documentary producers, actors, music groups, if their work could be promoted not only in a national but pan-European level. The bigger the market, the more success and impact.

I was talking to an Irish taxi driver once. He told me that his son wanted to be a cartoonist, but for that, if he really wanted to make money out of it, he was thinking of moving to Japan! If we had a market over here, somewhere that young European artists can promote their work, our children would not have to move elsewhere.

The role of the EU Commission and national interests.

In  the aftermath of the Irish rejection of the Lisbon Treaty during the first referendum, one of the main points of concern of the Irish people was the loss of their Commissioner.

In the Treaty there was initially a plan to have a set number of Commissioners and not all countries would keep theirs. At any time, some countries would be left without a Commissioner, but there would be a rotation of the countries without one in every new EU Commission formed.

Taking into consideration the fears of the Irish electorate,  it was decided that each country will keep it’s Commissioner, after the Treaty was passed.

But what will that mean? The E.U. Commission by default, should not represent national interests. Therefore each state’s Commissioner, should not promote his/her country’s agenda. So while the Irish (and many other nations shared the same view) wished to keep their Commissioner, I am wondering what impact this will have in the future both of the Commission and EU.

First of all, the Commission will keep growing. Now we have 27 Commissioners, when Croatia and Iceland will join we will have 29. If the West Balkans join we will have 5 more Commissioners bringing their number to 34.

And if EU expands further to include Norway, Switzerland , Turkey, Moldova, Ukraine, the Caucasus Democracies and so on, we will have an ever growing number of Commissioners. That means that we will have to create more and more positions for them and not only them, but the myriads of their secretaries, spokes persons, assistance stuff etc as well. Who will pay for all their salaries? We will.

The second implication is that the Commission will act for ever as a chess mat for national interests. That means that not only the Commission will act against it’s original purpose, but there will be permanently a competition and antagonism of the member states, both in the Commission and EU. Some say that this is healthy and welcomed. But how can we achieve solidarity and unity this way?

That is the reason of the many failures of the EU so far, the internal ever lasting bickering of the member states that lead to inner squabbles, indecision, lack of initiatives and action. The EU is going in circles. And when more members will join, this antagonism will grow as well.We will thus need a very strong leadership in the Commission to deal with this and keep the peace, while keep the project working.

Do we need so many Commissioners? In my opinion no! The EU Commission should have a specific role, and that is not to lead the EU, or serve the national interests of each country. It should have a rather administrative role. Make sure that all member states comply with EU laws and legislation for example, to help member states follow the regulations. Or refer any member state that does not comply with the laws to the European High Court for prosecution or fining, and to propose EU legislation.

Not to represent the EU or take the whole task of decision making in Europe upon itself. For those purposes we have the European Parliament to vote for or against laws and legislation. We should have a permanent President elected by the people and a Minister of Foreign Affairs appointed by either the Council or the European Parliament.

I also do not understand the worry of the smaller countries, that by losing their permanent Commissioner, larger countries will have more say. The rules applies to all and even Germany, France and the United Kingdom won’t have a Commissioner for sometime in rotation.

But since the Commission is not what it should be and it is used for promoting national interests, then of course some countries are worried about losing out. My opinion is that the number of Commissioners should be specific and stable. So should their roles.

Only when we are ready to limit our national ambitions, the EU will work better for everybody. I do not mean to give up our national interests. Rather start thinking a bit more "European." The notion “I am pro-European because EU is good for my country” says it all I guess. I wish we could say “ I am pro-European, because I believe EU is good for all nations in Europe”.

Πρός όλους τους Βουλευτές του Ελληνικού Κοινοβουλίου.

Αξιότιμοι Κύριοι και Κυρίες του Ελληνικού Κοινοβουλίου,

Εκλεγμένοι από το Ελληνικό λαό, και έχοντας την τιμή να τον υπηρετείτε και να τον εκπροσωπείτε, επικοινωνώ μαζί σας για να εκφράσω την απογοήτευση και την απέχθεια που αισθάνομαι για όσα γεγονότα λαμβάνουν μέρος πρόσφατα στην πατρίδα μας.

Ενώ αντιλαμβάνομαι την όποια κρίση υπάρχει στην Ελλάδα, την Ευρώπη και τον Κόσμο, και την έκτακτη ανάγκη να σώσουμε την χώρα μας απο μια βαθύτερη οικονομική κριση, τα τελευταία μέτρα που πήρε η Κυβέρνηση σας είναι σκανδαλώδη. Έχετε κυριολεκτικά ξεπουλήσει όλον τον εθνικό πλούτο και κάθε εθνική αξιοπρέπεια σε ξένες πολυεθνικές εταιρίες, ενώ βυθίζετε τον Ελληνικο λαό σε μακροχρόνια πτώχεια και θα τολμήσω να πώ σε γενοκτονία!

Με τα μέτρα αυτά, πώς περιμένετε ο ελληνικός λαός να επιβιώσει, και η νέα γενιά να κάνει νέα ξεκινήματα στην ζωή και οικογένεια, όταν δεν υπάρχουν δουλειές στην χώρα μας, οι μισθοί κατεβαίνουν αντί ν'ανεβαίνουν ενώ παράλληλα οι τιμές των βασικών ειδών κατανάλλωσης συνεχίζουν νάνεβαίνουν μήνα με το μήνα.

Και όλα αυτά για κάτι που δεν ευθύνεται ο Ελληνικός λαός, αλλα εσείς και οι προκατοχοί σας τις τελευταίες 3-4 δεκαετιες, έχοντας καταφέρει να κάνετε την Ελλάδα περίγελο στην Ευρώπη αλλά και τον κόσμο περισσότερο από μία φορά. Έχοντας ξεπουλήσει όλα τα εθνικά θέματα όπως την Μακεδονία, και έχοντας αφήσει την χώρας μας, μιά χώρα με τόσες δυνατότητες, έρμαιο των ξένων συμφερόντων.

Η κρίση στην οποία βρισκόμαστε ξεκίνησε σε άλλα μέρη του πλανήτη αλλά επέκταθηκε και στην Ελλάδα απλά από την διαφθορά και πλεονεξία των τραπεζικών και της πολιτικής ηγεσίας της χώρας μας, και αντί να τιμωρήσετε τους υπαίτιους, βάζετε τον Ελληνικό λαό σε τέτοια υποτιμητική και εξευτελιστική διαδικασία. Είμαι σίγουρος μετά από υπόδειξη αυτών που έχουν συμφέροντα από όλο αυτο το φιάσκο.

Είπαμε να κάνουμε την Ελλάδα μια σύγχρονη χώρα, μια χώρα που να είναι ένα υπόδειγμα στα Βαλκάνια, και όπως μας είχε τάξει προεκλογικά ο Κύριος Πρωθυπουργός μας, μια Νορβηγία του Νότου. Αν μας δίνατε και τους μισθούς της Νορβηγίας δεν θα είχαμε παράπονο.

Αντί αυτού οι μισθοί των Ελλήνων έχουν φτάσει στα επίπεδα μερικών κρατών της ανατολικής Ευρώπης, και δεν μας φτάνουν όλα αυτά, θέλετε να μας κάνετε και μια πολυεθνική κοινωνία νομιμοποιώντας τους μετανάστες, ενώ καλά καλά δεν υπάρχουν θέσεις εργασίας για τον Ελληνικό λαό! Ε θα μας τρελλάνετε τελείως! Θα έπρεπε να ντρέπεστε!

Τέτοιου είδους μεταρρυθμίσεις δεν γίνονται σε καιρούς που το έθνος αγωνίζεται για την ίδια του την ύπαρξη και ο λαός υποφέρει. Ας τις κάνατε όταν η χώρα ευημερούσε και υπήρχε πολιτική και κοινωνική σταθερότητα. Αλλά τότε μόνο κοιτούσατε να κατακλέψετε τον κόσμο!

Δεν γνωρίζω τις προσωπικές σας πεποιθήσεις αλλά εγώ προσωπικά αισθάνομαι υπερήφανος που έχω γεννηθεί Έλληνας και πάντα ονειρευόμουν μια Ελλάδα ισάξια των άλλων Ευρωπαικών κρατών. Δυναμική, ανταγωνιστική, με πολλές ευκαιρίες και ποιότητα ζωής και για τους Έλληνες αλλά και για τους μή αυτοχθονες πολίτες της χώρας μας. Με εσάς στα ηνία της χώρας αμφιβάλλω αν ποτέ δω αυτο το όνειρο να πραγματοποιείται!
Ελπιζω να γνωρίζετε τι κάνετε και να με διαψεύσετε στο μέλλον, αλλά μήν νομίζετε ότι ο Ελληνικός λαός τρώει κουτόχορτο! Δεν είμαστε εμείς Αμερικάνοι. Σας εύχομαι καλή επιτυχία στην θητεία σας και καλό κουράγιο και υπομονή σε όλη την Ελλάδα και τους Έλληνες.

Μετά τιμής,

The Eblana European Democratic Movement.

My view on the Greek Crisis.

With the recent developments in Greece, we read a lot about the situation there from our media, but are we seeing the true picture of the situation there?

 Is Greece just a corrupt failed country, that struggles to keep it’s economy in order? Or what is happening in Greece today is a well orchestrated attack, a financial war against the nation, that could spread to the rest of Europe?

Make no mistake, Greek politics are full of corruption, but one need to look at the modern history and geographic position of the country to realize the root of the problem.

Apart from the troubled and violent recent history of Greece, a huge role played it’s strategic geopolitical location. Greece has often been caught up in the conflict of interests of the known superpowers of each era, as it lies in an area of huge interest and importance, the Balkans. And it is known that they meddled with our internal affairs and politics. That helped a corrupt elite to be established, many times supported by external players.

The Ottoman and Byzantine remnants are also very crucial, as our political system is inevitably influenced by them. So we are caught in a situation that is being perpetuated and supported by corruption, and global political games.

Greece could be a very rich country as it has huge amount of resources. It’s climate, the fertile earth, the underground wealth and minerals, it’s landscapes, plus an educated multilingual youth, combined with it’s strategic location. If we add its links with Europe, the middle East and the former USSR states, it should be a investor’s paradise, a place that anyone would like to work and live. Sadly it has rather become over the decades a place that is almost ruled by no one.

But now we see a new threat to Greece’s sovereignty : the Markets. They have gained so much influence and power, that they threaten whole nations. And Greece, one of the weakest links in Europe and the “developed” western world, is just the first test in my opinion.

If their attempts are successful in Greece, more countries in Europe will follow. Our governments bow to the bankers and their demands, despite the protest of their people. The tax payers money is being used to bail them out, while they treat countries like companies. Each country is a corporation, that they think they can make it go bust or boom for their profit. Gamble with countries and nations, as they do in the stock markets.

In a way, Greece has been targeted by organized financial terrorism, and it is only to induce fear and submission to the Greek people. So they will bow and obey to the will of what the Markets and the investors demand, according to their interests in the region.

Greece is being dragged into high interest repayments that will cripple it’s economy and it’s people for decades to come, so that those people who orchestrated the crisis will make a profit, not just by the failure of Greece. But also the failure of it’s shared currency the euro in some extend.

Greece is being caught once again into a financial this time war, just because of it’s currency. In the past enslavement came upon a nation with bullets, bombs and tanks. Now days, enslavement comes with shares, bonds, and huge loans for bailouts. And Greece is just the beginning, we already see the list of potential targets. Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland are already in it.

Even if the blame lies mainly with the incompetence and mismanagement of the Greek political elite over the decades, in my opinion the same elite was just copying their European counterparts. Most European leaders were following the same policies, inspired by the other side of the Atlantic: cheap and easy money to spent, creating more money to spent by borrowings and lending, creating bubble economics.

Now it is the people that will pay the price and will be forced to take cuts, while being dragged into a blame game between public and private sector, creating divisions within them. Divide and rule politics of this new era.

My only hope is that the people of Greece and of Europe in general, will start reacting and pushing for reforms and not stand passively. Because the effects of this tricky era, will last for years to come and those effects will be difficult to reverse. You can free yourself from an occupier and an oppressor of your country. But how can you get rid of the huge debts that you are forced into?