Jump to content

Euro democracy


Dave225

Recommended Posts

teflon2 - 2011-11-12 7:58 PM

 

Brian I don't know how accurate Wickpedia is but it says I quote Common market in the English speaking world renamed the E.C. in1993. As we live in the English speaking world it seems to me we were sold a pup as a common market is not a union. Well not where I live anyway. John (!)

 

True, but insular! :-) Wiki is generally fine, but do read the whole article, and then switch to the one on the European Union. The "English speaking world" did not invent what was called the the Common Market,so they adopted a name they could understand, and got it wrong.

 

That seems to have been because the names adopted by its instigators were seen as too redolent of socialism, and too wide ranging, for the likes of those Napoleon called a "nation of shopkeepers". So, we were given "the Common Market", because it reflected what it was felt we were intellectually capable of grasping. The rest of Europe, being intellectually superior, :-) were naturally allowed to play with concepts such as the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC, 1951, from which it all grew), then the European Economic Community (EEC, 1957), and finally the European Union (EU, 1993).

 

As to the "English Speaking World", and where you live, I don't recognise the former as any kind of world. It is simply a self imposed linguistic prison for those who have difficulty with the simple fact that most of the world's population does not speak English (of varying sorts) as a first language. So, if you live somewhere that is incarcerated in that English speaking prison, the best advice is break out and travel around those other, non-English speaking worlds, with an open mind. They're not all out to get us! :-D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RogerC - 2011-11-12 8:18 PM

 

What a lot of 'in depth' replies....

 

So we have an EU body of elected and unelected persons 'in power'. Isn't interesting to note that not so many years ago those that wished to enter into politics or positions of public service were 'in office'? A subtle change which perhaps reveals the mindset of those people today.

 

So far the EU generally(and this list is a microcosm of it's failures) has been responsible for or has brought into being:

 

Profligate spending of our money.

Un-audited/non auditable accounts running into trillions.

Unelected bureaucrats dictating to sovereign nations.

A deeply flawed 'single currency'.

A political elite dictating to other nations.

Intrusions on the laws and liberties of citizens of member states.

 

It all sounds like a 'dictatorship' in the making......

 

Yes in theory the coming together of many nations to trade and allow free movement is laudable but there is 'in my opinion' a huge flaw in the whole system. Until 'all' nations have the same level of pricing(contained within the faltering Euro?), taxation, wages, production costs, social services/health care systems, the same laws etc (essentially a level playing field) then the system is doomed to failure. I, for one can never see that happening.

 

As it stands richer nations will always be 'top dog' dictating to the poorer nations because they can impose 'their terms and conditions' on whatever aid and assistance the poorer nations are in need of. Currently that is cash....and lots of it.

 

In essence and ideology communism is the purest form of governance/lifestyle with everyone 'equal' but it has never, and will never work because of the mindset of mankind. We all strive to better ourselves in terms of fiscal security, position in society and lifestyle..... ergo communism fails.

 

'ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS'

 

The first part of the above argues against the EU on largely political grounds, the second part argues for it on largely economic grounds. There is the paradox. How to resolve that paradox is the challenge. The EU is a "work in progress", not a completed masterpiece. In it or out of it we should have problems, both self-imposed, and imposed form elsewhere. Part of our present problems - our debt levels - are self imposed, part come from elsewhere including, but not limited to, the Euro, but not, IMO, the EU. Another paradox. Once we are through this one, and maybe before, there will be others. IMO, the EU, for all its present failings, gives us a substantial bulwark against many of the problems that we should otherwise have to counter. However, it too generates problems. Our advantage with those problems is that we have an international forum within which to address them. That, IMO, is the advantage of being in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the issues I am deeply unhappy about with the way the EU is set up is its power to use unelected elite to influence member states.

 

An example that is certainly thought provoking is what happened in Austria in 2000. Democratic elections in Austria elected a far right party whose main slogan seemed to be highly racist.

 

As a consequence the European commission applied sanctions against Austria.

 

And there is still an ongoing issue here ; -

 

http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/austria-farright.2if/

 

And I have to say I thought this was right and “proper” at the time – however, I was shaken somewhat to realise what was actually happening.

 

An unelected group of bureaucrats called the European Commissioners applied sanctions against a democratically elected government because they (and much the rest of us to be fair) did not like the outcome of that election.

 

We have the same sort of issue now with Greece and Italy. Now whilst we all know they are basket case economies, well Greece certainly, Italy less so, but what has effectively happened is that the EU has seen fit to remove the elected PM and replace them with puppet PM’s who report to a group of EU officials put in place by the same unelected EU Commissioners.

 

It all seems OK for now because we (well I can – I should not assume others think the same) see the “sense” in sorting the out the barmy economics of Greece and the “sense” in trying to sort out Italy before it goes down the same pan.

 

 

But it does leave me uneasy.

 

 

What if a powerful member state(s) used the same powers to insist we in the UK “towed the line” because we wanted to do things differently? We have already had a barmy little twerp from the German Parliament spitting his dummy out and telling us to shut up because we as an EU member but not in the Eurozone dared to voice an opinion differing from the euroconcensus.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CliveH - 2011-11-13 12:52 PM

 

One of the issues I am deeply unhappy about with the way the EU is set up is its power to use unelected elite to influence member states.

 

An example that is certainly thought provoking is what happened in Austria in 2000. Democratic elections in Austria elected a far right party whose main slogan seemed to be highly racist.

 

As a consequence the European commission applied sanctions against Austria.

 

And there is still an ongoing issue here ; -

 

http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/austria-farright.2if/

 

And I have to say I thought this was right and “proper” at the time – however, I was shaken somewhat to realise what was actually happening.

 

An unelected group of bureaucrats called the European Commissioners applied sanctions against a democratically elected government because they (and much the rest of us to be fair) did not like the outcome of that election.

 

We have the same sort of issue now with Greece and Italy. Now whilst we all know they are basket case economies, well Greece certainly, Italy less so, but what has effectively happened is that the EU has seen fit to remove the elected PM and replace them with puppet PM’s who report to a group of EU officials put in place by the same unelected EU Commissioners.

 

It all seems OK for now because we (well I can – I should not assume others think the same) see the “sense” in sorting the out the barmy economics of Greece and the “sense” in trying to sort out Italy before it goes down the same pan.

 

 

But it does leave me uneasy.

 

 

What if a powerful member state(s) used the same powers to insist we in the UK “towed the line” because we wanted to do things differently? We have already had a barmy little twerp from the German Parliament spitting his dummy out and telling us to shut up because we as an EU member but not in the Eurozone dared to voice an opinion differing from the euroconcensus.

 

Like I said.....we are IMO on our 'blind' way to a dictatorship

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thing that gets me is the 'subjegation' of Greece and to a lesser degree Italy is all to keep mainly, Germany, competetive. As I understand it from what I have read if the countries that have problems pulled out of the Euro and went back to deciding their own future Germany in particular would then become uncompetative and fall into recesion and end up suffering like the rest of us.

So it's all very well saying that Germany has the right to impose it's will on others as it is paying most of the bill but at the end of the day they are only doing it for their own benefit and as usual the French are holding on to their shirt tails!

My opinion is that the Greek PM should have been allowed to ask his people and if that meant Germany suffered, because I believe the outcome would have meant the Greeks leaving the € zone, so be it. Who has given Merkle the right to dictate to everyone else when they are benefiting from everyone elses problems.

Time the Germans were cut back down to size IMO.

 

Bas

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest pelmetman
RogerC - 2011-11-13 1:31 PM  Like I said.....we are IMO on our 'blind' way to a dictatorship
Yep I agree;-)..........we don't have a democracy.....we have a hypocracy*-)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Basil - 2011-11-13 4:56 PM

 

Thing that gets me is the 'subjegation' of Greece and to a lesser degree Italy is all to keep mainly, Germany, competetive. As I understand it from what I have read if the countries that have problems pulled out of the Euro and went back to deciding their own future Germany in particular would then become uncompetative and fall into recesion and end up suffering like the rest of us.

So it's all very well saying that Germany has the right to impose it's will on others as it is paying most of the bill but at the end of the day they are only doing it for their own benefit and as usual the French are holding on to their shirt tails!

My opinion is that the Greek PM should have been allowed to ask his people and if that meant Germany suffered, because I believe the outcome would have meant the Greeks leaving the € zone, so be it. Who has given Merkle the right to dictate to everyone else when they are benefiting from everyone elses problems.

Time the Germans were cut back down to size IMO.

 

Bas

 

 

This again comes back to what has been said before on here "Weak Leadership"

 

Weak leadership currently seems to be the major problem of all but the Germans

Merkle has done very well for Germany so far

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most of this is, IMO, complete nonsense. If you join any club, there are rules. Those rules are decided by the members. If a member breaks the rules, there are sanctions. This is common to all civilised societies, and without some such structures, the society cannot function. It is true of the UK and, if you overstep the line, you are penalised.

 

Greece cheated its way into the Euro. Despite this, it was accepted a member, and was then left to its own devices, as its politicians raised huge illicit loans to fund the bribes they offered its bloated public sector in order to get elected. The main problem with Greece is that they were taken on trust, serially breached the trust, and no-one could really touch them - until, that is, a major international currency crisis left them embarrassingly short of funds (bankrupt for short!). When Greece could no longer offload its bonds, it could no longer borrow enough to pay the interest - note, just the interest, not the capital - on its loans. That entirely self inflicted wound gave other members of the Euro club the excuse, and the coercive power, to bring their costly little game to an end. That is what has now been done.

 

With Italy it seems to me the problem is a little similar, differing only in that one man seems to have been the major beneficiary of the poor state of public finances. At least, that one man, first elected about 17 years ago, on assurances he would sort out Italy's finances, has personally profited hugely while Italy's problems have remained unresolved. He faces charges of corruption now that he is out of office, having pushed through laws preventing him being charged while holding office. His companies essentially control the Italian popular media, and there are numerous allegations he has used his position within these companies to suppress adverse reporting of his actions, and criticisms from his political opponents. Whereas he is popular with many Italians, it seems the more informed and thoughtful regard him as little better than a crook. Because he failed so lamentably to resolve Italy's finances, they were unable to afford the interest the markets imposed on Italy's bonds. The only potential buyer was the ECB, and the Germans, who are picking up the major part of the Greek debt, put their foot down. I have to say, so would I have done in both cases. So, as a result, the discredited leader had to go. But, it is not because Germany said so, it is because the international markets wanted over 7% for Italian 10 year paper.

 

All Germany refused to do was to fund the ECB, so that it could buy the Italian bonds. Dead right! Italy was heading for disaster under Berlusconi, and throwing good money after bad is not a game the Germans generally indulge in.

 

Rough justice, maybe, but necessary, IMO, in both cases, and only of further concern to any country that is grossly mis-managing its affairs at someone else's expense. The democratic process can begin in both countries once the storm has passed, and elections have taken place. I have no sympathy. In both cases the measures were well overdue, measured, approved by elected presidents, and will be of short duration while their finances are brought back under control.

 

Whether Greece will be able to swallow the pill is another matter, but that is a political, and not an economic problem. If they won't, and I suspect they won't, the scale of the default will have to be increased, which will be an economic problem, and Germany will just have to stick more money into its banks. So be it, they should have lent more sensibly, and Germany should have acted sooner to keep its banks in check.

 

Italy will suffer convulsions, but I think has not been quite so badly served by its politicians as Greece, and has a much more manageable problem in consequence. Despite their volatility, I would expect Italy, after the posturing, to grumble and get on with it.

 

Someone had to do it, and fast, and if the elected governments would/could not, the present outcome is probably better, providing it holds, than would have been achieved in the absence of the Germans or the ECB, from which both countries are actually gaining considerable financial support.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...