Sunday, February 19, 2012

Liberal Democracy dying in Greece and in EU

Today, Greek society is suffering both from the crisis and the responses to it, which have reached a dead-end. Major social and political institutions that were created with enormous struggles and sacrifices in post-War Greece – social security, the public health care system, public education, public transport, the natural and urban environment, the right to live a safe existence, and various elemental goods and services that underwrite the very existence of an already curtailed and devalued Greek state – are all being utterly dismantled so that Greek society is now dying of asphyxiation.

Troika(IMF, ECB and German EU leadership "Frau Nein" Angela Merkel  and "Baron Austerity" Wolfgang Schäuble), are the main architects of Europe’s disastrous mismanagement of the euro-zone debt crisis, can keep pretending that harsher doses of fiscal austerity will restore Greece and Europe’s other troubled debtors to economic health. These dead-end responses rest on the blackmailing dilemma: austerity or hard default? Yet, this is hardly a dilemma – it is rather a negative aggregate: both austerity and hard default. The tri-monthly threat to expel Greece from the Eurozone constitutes an ethical alienation and an economic catastrophe, precisely because it strengthens the profound recession, turning the whole of Europe into an agent of uncertainty, financial instability, and...

 proliferation of the crisis. It is Europe itself and specific "Frau Nein" and " Baron Austerity", that is producing the conditions that make it impossible for Greece to fulfill its debt obligations.

The crisis is not experienced by those who exploited the state and public interest for decades, but by the most vulnerable social constituencies. Greece and Europe is confronted with an unprecedented initiative of an upwards redistribution of wealth and power that subverts the European social model by exacerbating the most extreme economic and social inequities, while simultaneously empowering the return of pre WWII nationalism and the intensification of racism and xenophobia.

Greece is sinking into a co-dependent crisis that demonstrates, not only the institutional weaknesses of the EU but the unacceptable crisis management by neoconservative national leaderships with neoliberal statutes and projections. Today, Greeks are being humiliated, tomorrow other European peoples, in a process of spreading suspicion and hatred among all. We are facing a catastrophic moment in European history.

The euro crisis is killing the European dream. The shared currency, which was supposed to bind nations together, has instead created an atmosphere of bitter acrimony. Troika demands for ever-harsher austerity, with no offsetting effort to foster growth, have done double damage. They have failed as economic policy, worsening unemployment without restoring confidence; a Europe-wide recession now looks likely even if the immediate threat of financial crisis is contained. And they have created immense anger, with many Europeans furious at what is perceived, fairly or unfairly (or actually a bit of both), as a heavy-handed exercise of German power.

As Greek and citizen of a European Union, my dream was, is and will be to bring together people from a multitude of political domains with the objective to restore the real meaning of words against an abusive language of self-interest, to help produce more creative modes of communication among social spaces and citizens with different affiliations, who share the elemental values of justice, solidarity, and democracy, in other words, the constitutive identities of citizens in a liberal and democratic polity.

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