It couldn’t have gone worse, says political scientist Piero Ignazi: essentially the most pessimistic predictions have all turned out to be true. Worse than that, they’re previous each restrict. There’s, the truth is, no restrict to the more serious.
The European leaders are following the ‘(self-)destruction’ of Greece with Olympian calm. Leaving the ground to the ministers of the Eurogroup, the varied prime ministers are nonetheless as if we’re dealing solely with one other minor accident.
As an alternative, we now have plunged headlong straight over the precipice, with out stopping on the fringe of the abyss. We merely leapt over it. We’ll see in the end with what procedures and norms we are going to come out of it, however we are going to not be capable to say that the EU is identical as earlier than.
With this epilogue to the Greek disaster, the European Union has missed the final practice to the ultimate station of its preferrred venture, the final name to lift as soon as once more the flag of the ideality of the European edifice.
In different phrases, to heat hearts and minds. Falling again on the argument that the issue little one from Athens ought to have performed his homework to perfection humiliates the history of the European project.
With hair-splitting obtuseness, the brand new EU engine with German drive has dictated that Greece should persist with agreements that complete legions of economists, practitioners and consultants at worldwide establishments, starting with official studies by the IMF itself, take into account detrimental to the restoration of a rustic’s financial system and to its accounting liquidity.
Although this be insanity, but there may be methodology in it, and it reminds us of the cupio dissolvi, or self-destructive impulse, of so many tragedies.
Marching towards destruction as a result of it has been so decreed, as many tragic occasions in historical past remind us, is typical of a detrimental political tradition that has ‘imposed infinite sorrows’ on the Europeans.
Mutatis mutandis, the logic utilized to Greece lately reproduces the identical self-destructive compulsion of the previous. The fetish for rigour joined with the pleasure of punishment, as Foucault teaches us, overcomes all rationality.
It’s no shock if emotions of detachment, mistrust and even disgust have elevated exponentially lately within the face of this scowling and ‘depraved’ Europe.
After all, whereas the financial advantages of a rustic’s membership of the Eurozone have been extensively distributed in a win-win scenario, dissent was confined to the margins of the Kerneuropa, or ‘core’ Europe, among the many perplexed Danes and the proud British.
And the beneficiant impulse to open the Union as much as the Jap international locations with the intention to assure peace, safety and the wellbeing of the brothers who have been misplaced for half a century added new lustre to European ideality.
The founders’ dream of constructing Europe to keep away from the resurgence of nationalisms and conflict, went ahead by sharing strategic financial assets with the intention of selling mutual belief, discovered new lifeblood ten years in the past. The nice and cozy welcome to the liberated people beyond the Wall breathed new life into the European venture.
All of this has been squandered inside a couple of years. The mismanagement of the disaster in Greece, the violent reawakening of nationwide egoisms proclaimed by mediocre politicians and the persistent democratic deficit, however a couple of new prerogatives conceded to the Strasburg parliament, superior the Eurosceptic place.
Even in Poland, a rustic that has benefitted extra and higher than some other from getting into the European Union, we now discover a president who’s a fierce enemy of Europe (balancing out Donald Tusk, the ineffective president of the EU: ineffective each on account of his inexperience, and due to the obscure features of that position).
What’s the level of proposing new measures for a stricter fiscal-economic integration (corresponding to these outlined within the all in all commendable report of the ‘Five Presidents’), if a small and poor nation is kicked out of the Eurogroup?
The European leaders didn’t perceive that the Greek query had an infinitely higher worth than the handful of billions spent saving from suffocation a rustic that had fallen thirty years behind in its requirements of residing, due to the dangerous therapies prescribed by the Troika.
The true concern at stake was the capability or incapacity to withstand the hardships of ‘the final’. Previously, a extra distinctively catholic method of ‘understanding and forgiveness’ resolved many important conditions, avoiding deepening divisions.
Now a sort of egoism typical of – and truly belonging to – bankers has prevailed over the political leaders’ capacity to mediate. The latter can’t simply permit themselves to provide solution to monetary algorithms.
They’ve a really totally different position: that of setting goals and envisioning a future. However what future have the political leaders of the member international locations put ahead for us within the final years? A way forward for inflexibility and rigour with none increased finish, with out imaginative and prescient. Simply to steadiness the books (to somebody’s benefit, in fact), and nothing extra.
The ‘Europhile’ lifeblood is drying up as a direct consequence of the absence of actual political leaders, of statesmen. When the Euro turns into the supply of all evil within the eyes of the overwhelming majority of public opinions throughout Europe which means one thing is lacking from the venture.
In its early days, due to leaders of nice expertise and vivid reminiscence, the one forex was endowed with the symbolic energy of a component of cohesion and brotherhood. Not solely and never a lot a technical matter, however the materiality of sharing a typical existence and a typical future.
However when the primary difficulties brought on by opportunists throughout the changeover (excellent was the financial benefit provided on the time by the right-wing Italian authorities to all self-employed staff) have been adopted by the extra, goal, macroeconomic issues of the higher disaster, then Europe grew to become a fatherless little one.
The Europhile entrance was not in a position to elevate its voice above the cruel, usually irrational, if not downright grotesque, criticism coming from so many populists; it was not in a position to reply in variety or to speak the progressive, potential import of the one forex.
They missed them, trusting that the financial restoration would ultimately get rid of these protesters. However now that the disaster is just not waning, emotions of hostility are on the rise.
If then we add to the overall unease the conceitedness of the wealthy who should not able to giving a shot within the arm to their poor relations, then the hole of belief within the EU widens out of all proportion.
Allow us to be sincere: if we take to the streets, what can we federalists and Europhiles say to confront the Eurosceptic, and by now purely Europhobic, populists?
Which non-technical arguments (however these too ultimately put on out) can we use to say that the European edifice is certainly an awesome factor, the long run that complete generations dreamed of? Even the spectacle of the ocean of corpses that the Mediterranean is regularly turning into can’t restore our pietas.
Even a radical secular thinker can’t chorus from regretting the advantages that the Catholic and, extra typically, confessional tradition dropped at the early phases of the development of Europe. Financial individualism, the degenerate son of liberalism, now turns into nationalist egoism.
The political leaders of this Europe have allow us to down as a result of they’re denying us our future: the cynical and detached face of the wealthy seems, because it turns away whereas Greece is deserted simply because the boatloads of desperate refugees are left to sink in the Mediterranean.
These leaders look to us like these males of Weimar Germany in bowler hats and tailcoats portrayed by George Grosz’s satirical pen.
The enemies of the European venture have it straightforward in opposition to this caricatural, however partially lifelike, illustration of the actual European Union.
And we Europhiles and federalists stay speechless as a result of the nationwide leaders and communitarian establishments don’t lend us any help (with some exceptions, in fact: and I’m not referring to Mario Draghi accidentally).
Any further, with the failure of Greece, every thing will probably be tougher. Allow us to not be fooled into pondering that we are able to return to enterprise as ordinary. The stigma of egoism and closure will probably be lengthy lasting.
Translated from the English by Nicolò Crisafi/Eutopia
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