Monday, December 19, 2011

British Veto and the future of the country in EU.
British PM David Cameron, has vetoed recently a suggested new E.U. treaty to heal the euro and save the euro-zone.

While all other 26 heads of states agreed to at least sit on the table and negotiate the treaty, Britain chose once more to show its true feelings about the single currency.

It is not the only country that had objections, as Hungary, the Czech Republic, Sweden and others were also skeptical. Yet they are the ones who refused to at least negotiate.

Understandably, the plan that the "Merkozy" duo is promoting might not be ideal for all countries. But at least this is the first move from our leaders to tackle the crisis, after a long time. Besides, each state individually can negotiate the proposal, to safeguard its interests.

Despite all, the U.K. chose to isolate itself within E.U. The result from Mr. Cameron's "NO" had deep impact both at home, throughout Europe and the U.S.A. Deputy PM Nick Clegg and many other pro-European politicians, were obviously unhappy. In addition, the current coalition forming the British Government between the Conservatives and the Liberals, showed its first serious cracks.

An open war of words took place between the British and the French, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy criticizing Mr Cameron and accusing him of being like an "obstinate kid". Even the Americans seemed surprised while Ireland, a country that is hugely involved in the British market, is planing to start talks with their larger neighbors "within weeks." Possibly to persuade the British Government relax their position.

Thus the argument the Tories are trying to win for the past few years, of Britain leaving the EU is back on the agenda. They are pushing the British government to give the public a referendum on EU membership, that most likely will be lost under the current crisis in Europe. Subsequently forcing the UK outside the EU.

As result the UK is going to follow Norway's example. Hence, the most important impact it will have on their country, is losing their seats in the European Parliament (EP) and their EU Commissioner.

While Norway is outside the EU, it still has to adopt a large part of EU law and legislation, as part of their EEA (European Economic Agreement) membership, plus contribute to the EU budget.

But they have no say on how these laws are shaped, as they have no seats in the EP and no Commissioner to promote their interests. Norway has failed in giving its citizens a voice in legislation that affects them directly.

They do pay less than if they were a full member, but as they are an oil rich nation it would not matter much if they paid more. In other words, in order to lower their payments towards the EU, Norway prefers to deprive its people's influence in Europe.

However in Britain's case, things are more complicated. With its nearly 60 million population Britain is one of the most populous countries in EU. They have the most seats in the EP together with France and Germany, so their citizens have a significant say in European affairs.

Historically, Britain always wanted influence in Europe. They repeatedly got involved in European affairs, wars and politics. Europe is too big and too near for Britain to ignore it.

Sadly just like the Norwegians and the Icelanders are victims of a very powerful fishing lobby, the Brits are victims of their capital; the City of London and its financial sector. The people do not gain much out of the policies this sector promotes, unlike the country's banks.

The City of London is a part of the matrix of banks, the markets and the rating agencies, that have lately caused so much grief in many parts of Europe. The British Government is trying desperately to secure their privileges, to the detriment of the ordinary people of Britain and Europe.

The stiff refusal of the British Government to support the euro-zone, shows that they have different plans for the common currency and the EU.

With British media brainwashing and misinforming the British public for decades, it is no wonder that the public have a very different view on how things work within EU. The whole situation, reminds of the usual power struggles between the main three European powers and the interests of their elites.

It is a pity that the whole country has been taken hostage of the interests of the few. But in the end, democracy has to prevail, if the wish of the British public is for their country to leave the EU. Hopefully they will realize that they are doing their country no favors, by standing with the interests of the rich elites.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Our Leaders have agreed; "We need more Europe!"..

Italy's, Germany's and France's Leaders have agreed in a recent Summit that if we want to get over this crisis we need more Europe.Again during this week our Leaders are having another Summit, trying desperately to solve the crisis that is engulfing Europe and save the euro!

More economic governance want some, tax harmonization and hard supervision of states that do not follow the rules by the book, are some other suggestions.

I say it was about time for them to do something about it. The thing that worries me the most is that they may eventually agree on something, but what will this something be and how will it affect us? Will we have the richer and most powerful states again "taking the lead" and tell all the rest of us what to do, according to their interests? Will we have lobbies that serve the rich elites, imposing more austerity on us? Will they agree on something that will solve the problems once and for all, or will they just paste over them again?

The EU represents mostly the elites and not as much the people, there is nothing new to this. There are voices though who try and work hard, most of them being in the European Parliament. There are people in EU and its system who want the best for the citizens, work is being done and ideas flow. But somehow, the rich elites of the rich countries high jack the whole thing and think too much in real-politic.  

So here comes Mrs Merkel who answers to God knows whom and says "Nein" to the eurobonds. The boat is sinking and she halts the whole progress. We are going around in circles over and over again, but this time they are very dangerous circles. And our Governments instead of acting fast, they keep listening to the lobbies and their advisers (bankers, corporates, economists) both on national and EU level, because the EU is a huge lobby. Meanwhile people in Greece are committing suicide and people in Ireland are emigrating.

We should have a strong European Parliament and a fully functioning democracy between confederate states of Europe. Become like what the U.K. is becoming. A loose federal, political and economic entity. The Scots have their parliament for their national affairs, but they also have elected representatives in the House of Lords as part of Britain.

It is not the case of building a new nation, a superstate, or a federal country like the USA. If that ever happens it will take centuries to be achieved. What we should be trying to build is some kind of federal political entity, that countries and nations would still be states, but would be governed both by the E.P. and their national parliaments. Even though problems and disagreements will still exist, hopefully through a democratic way we will be able to solve them.
If we could ever achieve that, it would mean democracy and equality among European countries. The rich Norwegians with the poor Moldovans, the developed Dutch with the underdeveloped Ukrainians, the philosophical Greeks with the more pragmatic Swedish, the laid back Italians with the punctual and control freaks Germans. All working together for stability and progress throughout our continent. But we have still to reach that level of selfishness and solidarity in Europe.

If we became more federal or confederate, then the rich powerful nations would not be able to dictate the poorer ones. We would decide the direction and future of our Continent together as a unit, with our directly elected representatives. For our national issues we would still have our national Parliaments in place. Right now as it stands, we have intergovernmental agreements that are being taken behind closed doors in the various E.U. Summits.

The other option of course is to go back to free trade, and reduce E.U. to something like EFTA/EEA. But then we will lose the E.P. and that will mean even less say for us in those intergovernmental agreements. Like what the Norwegians are having to deal with right now. They have to accept E.U. law and legislation as part of EEA (European Economic Agreement), they have to contribute with their taxes, but they have no say or representatives in the E.P. 

They have traded this right for less EU budget contributions. So their Governing elites can lobby and make deals with other EU nations that the citizens of Norway have little knowledge or say on them! That is not a fully functioning democracy in international level! 

Of course to achieve this plan we will need to compromise hugely a part of national sovereignty. Well are we really sovereign nations in a globalized world? Unless you become like Cuba or North Korea, you can not be fully independent while you have to be part of the World community and trade. By just joining the UN for example, you lose part of your sovereignty. We can not reverse globalization, but we can get prepared for it.

If our Leaders want more Europe, then let us have it our way not theirs. I do not want a Europe that there will be peripheral and core, rich and poor, developed and underdeveloped states. I want equality and democracy and that means binding our countries even closer together. If the rich countries lose their grip and power on European affairs, then this Continent can move forward united in progress.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tainted Victory.

Unfortunately for Skopje, their so called victory at the International Court of Justice, except from being partial, it is also largely symbolic since the court not only didn't order Greece to alter its stance in the future but it also found that the ruling itself "constitutes appropriate satisfaction" for the FYROM, which proves the fiasco of both the lawsuit and the ruling.

However, what is most important is that there is no way Skopje will enter NATO before the name issue with Greece is solved. As NATO Chief Fogh Rasmussen clarified yesterday in Brussels, the FYROM still won't be admitted to the alliance until the name issue is resolved.

"I take note that the International Court of Justice has issued its ruling on a bilateral issue between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. 

The ruling does not affect the decision taken by NATO Allies at the Bucharest summit in 2008. We agreed that an invitation will be extended to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue has been reached."

The European Union is expected to keep the same stance, regardless of Skopje's aspirations. So, let them celebrate their "victory" now that they can because when they see that the doors remain shut, they will realise that it was all for nothing,  provided of course that Greece will finally stand up to the challenge.

Sources: AFP, Focus News Agency,CBS News

Read more here.