Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Is Turkey fed up of waiting and decided to set up its own club, or does President Gul see a place for his country as a “bridge” between the two regions? Perhaps this is another bluff to send a message to Europe. Are the Turks turning to the East to establish their influence and what will all this mean for us?
Either way, it’s not the only time that recently we’ve heard of plans for new organizations, modeled after the E.U. Last month the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, announced that he wanted to see a Eurasian Union set up by 2015 incorporating Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, with its headquarters in Moscow.
Some in Europe and E.U. fear such moves and are suspicious of them. Perhaps they always see as threat whatever comes from Russia and the East and if they can not be part of it, they are becoming skeptical. Perhaps they do not want to let go Turkey out of their sphere of influence and are afraid of Turkey or Russia becoming too big and powerful.
I do not see why Europe should be afraid when other regions are forming blocks. There are blocks of nations all over the World: ASEAN, AU, MERCOSUR, NAFTA, you name it. So what if the Russians and the Turks want to create their blocks. Mr. Sarkozy created the Mediterranean Union. If any leader can satisfy his ego and leave a legacy by creating a new "Union" of nations, so be it!
What does the Mediterranean Union has achieved so far anyway? Do we ever read about what it does, how it works and what are its functions? While the E.U. is often scrutinized and blamed for being undemocratic, no one cares about what does Mr. Sarkozy's brainchild focus on and how it influences us. So will those two new "Unions" be just another club of nations cooperating, or can they ever challenge E.U./Europe's hegemony?
On the other hand, such initiative by the Turks will perhaps be the solution to the Turkish E.U. membership saga. If we do not want them in, then set them free and be honest with them. Are we afraid that two new strong blocks in our neighborhood will mean more competition? Perhaps that will give us a kick up the back side to get a grip, solve our differences and proceed with necessary reforms.
We should also re-approach Russia, our relationship with this country and not fear them.Our attachment to the hip with America is not good for us. We should have good relations both with America and Russia. Be an equal partner to them, not their sidekick and little toss-ball. We should pursue more independent foreign policies from USA, reestablishing our relationship with the Americans but also Russia, Turkey, China, Brazil and India.
All European nations should join the EU, that means both Ukraine and hopefully even Belarus. Russia and the EU should renegotiate immigration, freedom of movement, free trade and other bilateral agreements, while the Russians should expand their influence in central Asia. In that way, though Russia will never be an E.U. member state, it will contribute in the increasing European influence in the central Asian region. With Turkey we could do the same for the Middle Eastern Region and the Southern Caucasus.
If we keep good relations with those two nations, re-approach them and set up new, crystal clear bonds of alliance, friendship and cooperation, I believe that it can be a win win situation for all. If we do not want Turkey in E.U. we should form a different close kind of relationship with them. Allow them to expand their influence in the Middle East, and through them we could increase our own influence without us having always to intervene.
What we should give Turkey and Russia back of course is another matter. I guess that is a topic for a good debate. If the Norwegians enjoy all E.U. citizens' rights without being a member, then perhaps that is a suggestion.
Of course we will have to guard our interests and make sure that those two new "Unions" if they ever materialize, do not pose a threat to us. It is down to us to get a grip and start thinking as a unit, supporting each other, backing up each others' interests and protect each others' borders. If we are truly united then no one could challenge Europe.
We do have so much going on for us and we should be engaging in a positive and open manner with our neighbors, not be skeptical or suspicious of them. There is no need to impose our will and interests on our neighboring nations or blocks. We can achieve so much more if we have them as allies.
Will they of course want to cooperate with us? Well Europe is Russia's most important customer when it comes to gas and oil. And if we were not too pro-American perhaps the Russians would behave differently towards us. Their interest in the rest of the continent was always there.
Some E.U. countries of Eastern Europe that were under the Soviet thumb might think differently. But things have changed now. Europe if becomes truly united, it has no need to fear Russia anymore. Turkey has long standing trade and historical ties with Europe as well, why do we always have to push them away?
Thursday, November 24, 2011
One of course would think how "democratically" elected was Mr. Berlusconi, a man that seemed to be more like an oligarch. He run the country as he pleased, he was a part time politician as he admitted himself while focusing on his romances and bunga-bunga parties. He manipulated the public opinion since he owned most of the country's media!
He is replaced by Mr. Mario Monti, a pro-European Economist much hailed in E.U. and Europe. Mr. Papandreou, after a disastrous handling of the crisis in Greece, was replaced by Mr. Lucas Papademos a former Vice-President of the European Central Bank. He has the approval of many E.U. Officials and other European leaders and politicians.
What I find amazingly peculiar is the fact that now we have unelected Prime Ministers, not politicians but technocrats, replacing the leaders that the people chose to lead them. What does this say about Democracy in Europe? The Governments that the people vote in their Parliaments can not deliver in securing the country's interests while solving and addressing all the issues that the public is facing. Perhaps then we are in a much deeper crisis and not just a financial one, but political, social and moral as well.
Do we need the Technocrats to come and save us or do we need a reality check on how Democracy is being implemented, if we have a real Democracy at all in our Continent? Our national politicians have all let us down and the promotion of unelected Technocrats in the driving seat of our countries, is seen as the solution to our political system's shortfalls. I do not doubt that they are going to do a good job, but who do they represent?
Will they represent the people, the citizens of Italy and Greece and their interests and what are their agendas, influences and motivations? We do not know much about them, in which circles they belong or why they were chosen to lead their countries. They both seem to be well known in the European power brokers' circles and it makes sense to pick them to solve a pan European problem. But why our national Governments were unable all those years to deal with those issues and make the necessary reforms gradually in order to better their countries.
Perhaps our democratic system is corrupt beyond repair, or so dysfunctional that in order to heal it, we need not so democratic solutions. What does the future hold for Europe and its states? Will one by one be forced to replace their democratically elected Governments with Technocratic ones and who will control those new Governments? Perhaps we are experiencing a political experiment in Europe. If it succeeds in Greece and Italy, more countries will follow until these new type of Governments will be the reality. Are Technocrats better than politicians? How can we control or have a say on what the Technocratic Government will be doing, since we won't be voting for it and they won't be answerable to us anymore.
It is no lie that we needed change, we needed a political reboot in our Continent. But I was hoping it would take place in a democratic way, it would be approved and supported by the citizens. We had a political elite established in most of our countries since WW2 and they got used in being in power so much, that staying there was more important than working for the betterment of Europe.
Will this new style of Government work? Only time will tell. But to me this is a very sad development. We have a new type of Government to save us from the evils of Democracy! It is scary if you think about it. I was hoping for a democratic solution, I was hoping to see the European Parliament empowered and in constant cooperation with the national Parliaments working for shaping a new Europe.
In the Arab countries they are fighting for more Democracy, transparency and freedom. In Europe we are giving away our Democracy, transparency and social justice. We are trying to assist the Arab countries in their battles to achieve Democracy. Who is going to help us then in our battles for transparency and social equality?
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Enabling reporters in a separate location to listen in to a simultaneous translation, the plot thickened when Mr. Obama reportedly replied: "You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you," according to the French interpreter.
To me this is hilarious and fascinating for many reasons. First we get a glimpse on how our politicians work or think of each other. Not much differently than classroom schoolchildren. With their strops, fake friendships, alliances, back stabbing comments. Then we get a glimpse on America's relationship with Israel, only now we also see that this does not always mean a perfect relationship.
America is supporting Israel no matter what, to support and protect its interests. What we did not know is that each US President, does not always "feel the love" for each Israeli Prime Minister. And perhaps that Israeli Governments and their policies do become a bit of a pain sometimes for the US and the West.
We can only imagine what goes around a diplomatic table, when our leaders meet in those "summits" or state visits. It can't be much different from when we, ordinary citizens meet with our colleagues at work, with everything that goes in those meetings. Wasn't the former Czech Prime Minister Mr. Topolanek, that was photographed naked around one of Italy's former Prime Minister Mr. Berlusconi pools? Politics, power, money and fornication go hand to hand it seems.
Has America's and Europe's unconditional "love" for Israel, made them the spoiled child of the West? Perhaps even if our leaders are tired of their politicians' antics, the Israeli elite are abusing their position of power. Did you notice how the USA reacted when Palestine joined UNESCO recently? They just withdrew their funding from the agency. Either you do as we think it's best, or we are withdrawing the only powerful and most successful weapon we've got; our money.
Lately, Israelis got so overconfident that they suggested an attack on Iran to stop their nuclear ambitions. As if things were not fragile enough in the Middle East and our economies in a top shape. Yet they still want to drag us into another conflict with the Arab countries, as if we were not hugely involved in their affairs already.
But if Netanyahu is a liar, what does this say about his country, Israel's policies, interests, our leaders who support Israel, USA and Europe's choices and alliances? If our leaders are "forced" to work with a liar, cooperate with him and support the regime in his country, I do not see much justification in their claims about the region.
So, there we have it. One politician who is confirmed as a liar by his own colleagues. I wonder are there any honest ones in Europe or the World. How many things we do not know about, but we have to pay for and suffer the consequences I wonder. Due to out "lying" politicians, we can rest assured that our World won't change for the better anytime soon.