June 26, 2011

EU becoming dictatorship

The Trumpet Blog



Posted by Robert Morley at 10:32 pm on June 22, 2011

There are large and dangerous cracks in the pavement of the European Union’s democracy. That’s the conclusion of a recent EU Observer article. It is an astounding—and frightening—article, well worth the read.

In essence the conclusion is that the EU has gone from trying to coerce the public to autocratically controlling the various political parties in Europe. In the words of the EU Observer, “political parties with competing manifestos … are still there, but someone else has decided in advance what the result will be.” The conclusion? The people of Europe are looking for a “strongman.” Here are some disturbing highlights (emphasis added throughout).

Europe seems to have slipped almost imperceptibly in the space of only a few months into an electoral interzone, a crack in the pavement of democracy.

The formal trappings of clean elections—in which political parties with competing manifestos contest a ballot free of voter intimidation—are all still there, but someone else has decided in advance what the result will be.

It’s not the voters that are intimidated anymore: It’s the parties that are.

The count of EU member states now tallies to four—Ireland, Portugal, Finland and Greece—where this post-political phenomenon has materialized, but committed democrats across the Union should wonder which country is next.

This has not happened by putsch or coup d’etat, at least not one involving any guns or tanks. There are no colonels or partisans who have captured the garrisons and seized the telephone exchange.

Yet a junta has installed itself nonetheless, a junta of “experts,” technocrats, those educated in the knowledge of What Needs To Be Done.

These are the experts who, in the words in May of the president of the Eurogroup of states and Luxembourgish Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, believe that fiscal policy … is “too important” for voters to have a say over, that would be better be agreed, again, in his words, in “dark, secret debates.”

They rule from a movable, intangible palace: Sometimes the orders seem to come from Brussels, sometimes from Frankfurt or Berlin, sometimes from a Luxembourg castle or maybe just via a dinner-time teleconference over a dodgy line and lukewarm coffee. …

And in seeing how easy it is to intimidate democracy, they have now gone so far, it appears, as to be on the verge of decapitating a government.

The article then goes on to show how European officials forced Ireland into bailing out its banking sector, putting taxpayers on the hook. Then when Ireland held elections, the EU and imf told all parties that they would not be able to renegotiate the bailout or opt out—essentially depriving Irish voters of any choice in the matter. The implication was that even the parties that campaigned on renouncing the bailout would not be allowed to do so. The not-so-subtle message from the EU was: Take the bailouts, further indebt your country, or we will crash you ourselves.

Both wings of the government shortly thereafter capitulated on almost every aspect of their manifestos, barring the totemic corporation tax, although one can hardly argue that Kenny put up much of a fight or even that Fine Gael went into the election expecting they would be able to keep their promises.

At the time, Europe’s dictatorial approach to Ireland went largely unnoticed. But now the same thing has happened to Portugal. It is becoming clear that nations are not as sovereign as they thought they were. That is the danger of debt—it makes you a slave. The article then shows the absolute power of the European Central Bank, which is largely controlled by Germany. It literally brought down a government.

After months of the country’s prime minister, Jose Socrates, refusing to acquiesce to pressure to accept a bailout for the sake of the wider eurozone, the European Central Bank simply pulled the plug on his economy.

One week in April, Portuguese banks announced they would stop buying government bonds if Lisbon did not seek a rescue. Later that week, the head of the country’s banking association, Antonio de Sousa, admitted that he had been given “clear instructions” from the ecb and the Bank of Portugal to cut off the tap.

Without the support of domestic banks, Socrates had no choice but to request an external lifeline. Days before, the opposition Social Democrats withdrew their support for the government over an austerity program they would later sign up to, forcing the minority government into a snap election. The very day that Portugal finally capitulated, EU and ecb experts demanded that even though the parties were in the middle of an electoral campaign, all main parties sign an accord endorsing the bailout memorandum, no matter the result of the vote.

As the EU Observer opines, letting the people decide what was best for them was out of the question. Regardless of who was elected, they were essentially stooges of Frankfurt. He who holds the purse strings, holds power.
In Finland too, the ecb is flexing its muscles. Although the euroskeptic True Finns party is growing in popularity, the Observer points out the lengths the ruling party is going to in order to satisfy its European masters.

The prime-minister-elect was thus forced to cobble together a parliamentary coalition for one single vote in favor of the bailout while a more durable coalition of parties to this day has had to wait.

Parliamentary historians have searched in vain to locate a precedent whereby a majority has been formed in a chamber for just one vote, rather than to build a government.

And with each success, the European overlords are gaining confidence.

And with the Hellenic Republic, the experts have gone furthest in their efforts to do an end-run around democracy, not merely requiring that Athens achieve a “cross-party consensus,” but that the country give up all remaining vestiges of its sovereignty, and, if necessary to win such national unity, even the office of the prime minister is negotiable. …

And now the experts have a gun to the prime minister’s head: Greece will not be given its latest tranche of EU-imf funding if it does not achieve the European nirvana of cross-party consensus.

But addicted to the ease of being able to force through what they want without heed of democratic norms, they wondered why they need to stop here.

The proposals on the table under which Greece would be offered a second bailout, pressed by the Netherlands and Luxembourg operating as proxies for Germany, now entail a sell-off of tens of billions—or perhaps, as some have tallied, up to €300 billion—worth of public assets, but crucially under the expert supervision of a privatization agency independent of the government, staffed by eurozone overseers—or bailiffs as any indebted family would recognize them as.

Why, because, as diplomats have explained, Athens cannot be trusted to do it themselves. Tax collection may even be taken “off the hands” of the Greek government for the same reasons of trust.

But what sovereign government can describe itself as such if it doesn’t even control the office of tax collection? A European monster is rising.

And here’s what is even more astounding. Even though unelected officials in Brussels and elsewhere are forcing their agenda on the Greeks, Irish, Portuguese and Finns, many people are actually craving an autocratic “strongman” to come and set things right. Democracy is dying in Europe.

According to a poll conducted by Greece’s Kappa Institute two weeks ago, 30 percent of Greek respondents actually WANT the country to be led by “a group of experts and technocrats.”

A plurality of Greeks have now become so disillusioned with sovereignty and democracy that they think at least the experts could deliver something better than the seemingly insurmountable unemployment, corruption and economic collapse they see around them.

The same survey said that less than a quarter believed that a democratically-elected government will be able to overcome the ordeal they are going through.

But if the experts, the technocrats who are sidelining democracy in their subtle way, feel heartened by such polls, they should pause when they read the rest of this census.

A full 22.7 percent want “a strongman” to resolve the ongoing crisis.

“The state and the rule of law are being ridiculed on a daily basis,” laments the country’s conservative paper of record, Kathimerini, which also has taken to puffing up the “common sense” of the country’s main far-right party, the Popular Orthodox Rally (Laos). On April 3, an opinion piece appeared that argued were events to spin out of control, the choice will be between a humiliating retreat for authorities and “a police state to enforce law and order.”

“It seems that if things were to get worse … then we should brace for tough law enforcement, and the people will be the first to ask for it,” the paper wrote. …

When the experts who give lip service to how much they believe in European democracy treat it so cheaply, they should not be surprised when the real junta, the real colonels, take command.

Something terribly undemocratic is taking place in Europe. National sovereignties are being washed away. And Europe is being primed for a “strongman” to come to the forefront with solutions to its economic crisis. To see where the Bible says it is all heading, read Gerald Flurry’s February 2011 Trumpet cover story titled “A Monumental Moment in European History!

http://www.thetrumpet.com/?q=8393.13.0.0