Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dany Cohn-Bendit: EU Troika is "neoliberal Taliban"

Dany Cohn-Bendit is the leader of the Green Party caucus in the European Parliament and has been a committed "European," i.e., an advocate of the European Union and its continued development and political integration.

But his attitude toward the Angie-fied, neoliberal version of the EU, which German Chancellor Angela Merkel is now using a vehicle to impose her disastrous austerity politics on all of Europe, has him taking a different aprpoach.

The current official negotiating group dealing with Greece to solve their sovereign debt issues is known as the "troika": the International Monetary Fund (IMF), The EU Commission acting for the EU, and the European Centra Bank (ECB). The ECB is run by a committed Angiebot, and the other two are agreed on pushing the neoliberal austerity plan Angie is demanding.

In case of the latest Greek bailout the troika just agreed upon this past Monday, they came up with yet another solution that won't solve the Greek debt problem but will actually make it worse. Paul Krugman characterizes the latest agreement this way (Greece 02/21/2012):

What can I say? As Felix Salmon says, this really isn’t credible. The problem with all previous rounds here has been that austerity policies depress the economy to such an extent that it wipes out most of the topline fiscal gains: revenue fall, so does GDP, so the projected debt/GDP ratio gets, if anything, worse.

Now we have another round of austerity — which is assumed not to do too much damage to growth. The triumph of hope over experience.

OK, nobody here is an idiot (although see my next post). What’s happening is that nobody is prepared to take the plunge into either of the paths that might eventually lead out of this: sustained aid (not loans) to Greece, or departure from the euro, leading eventually to higher competitiveness and faster growth. Both options would be politically catastrophic, which means that they can’t be taken until there is literally no alternative.
The more serious deficit in the EU isn't on the government financial statements. It the democracy deficit that is a bigger problem.

Cohn-Bendit says the Troika has become a "neoliberal Taliban", enforcing a crushing austerity onto Greece on behalf of international creditors. (Harsche Kritik aus EU-Parlament. Cohn-Bendit nennt Troika "neoliberale Taliban" Spiegel Online 15.02.2012)

The Troika not only blackmailed the Greek government into accepting its ruinous, unjust conditions for the current tranche of the bailout. They even made the leaders of the two major parties sign written agreements that they would stick to those conditions regardless of the outcome of parliamentary elections in Greece in March.

Propping up undercapitalized banks - still the basic problem in the sovereign debt crisis - and imposing Angie's secular-Protestant vision of virtuous economic austerity have become higher priorities for the EU than defending democracy.

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