Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Europe's autocratic politics of debt

Two things have come across the news this week, neither of which bodes well for the EU.

First, the EU Commission and Council, following up on agreements made with the Troika, insisted on written statements by both major political parties in Greece that they would be denied a bailout unless they both declared in writing that they would accept the ultimatum that the Troika had imposed on the current government. Elections are coming up soon, and the EU's creditor states are intent on ensuring that choice is off the table. Of course, Greece could chose to fold and walk away from both the euro and the aid, but neither Commission nor Council are saying that. (Though one politician is now talking openly about Greek exit.)That should again give everyone pause about what the EU stands for.

In the absence of agreement, a Council meeting scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled.

Second, the Commission is busy preparing to punish Spain, which has been ahead of the curve and the Commission in dealing with the crisis, by charging the government money for not moving any further. I don't know what the responsibles in Brussels are thinking, but whipping the most compliant is not going to further their cause. If anything, it reeks of desperation, to show that the excessive deficit procedure is relevant, somewhere, somehow. That's no way to run the EU.

Once upon a time, the EU stood for democracy. It brought both of these countries into the Union to bolster democratic movements and to prevent a return to dictatorship. And now, it views democracy as the greatest threat to the Union.

Ironic, isn't it?

This is a bad move on the part of the EU


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