Monday, July 23, 2012
Angiebot Elmar Brok on democratic failures in Hungary and Romania and on the value of the EU from a German conservative perspectiveElmar Brok is a member of German Chancellor Angela "Frau Fritz" Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) serving as a European Member of Parliament affiliated with the European People's Party, the EU parliamentary group for Christian Democrats. In this interview, he gives a useful perspective on the conservative pro-European, i.e., pro-EU, position is, The European Union on Trial Deutsche Welle English 07/22/2012:
Brok is a faithful Angiebot on the question of imposing austerity policies on the weaker partners of the EU. But because he is such a loyal Angiebot, it's interesting to see that he's making the worries about the state of constitutional democracy in Hungary and Romania a central issue in his presentation. We're still a long way from seeing the EU give democracy the priority it has been giving the comfort of bank CEOs in their euro crisis policies since 2009.
What he says about the American debt at around 11:50 and following, that it will be a terrible problem in two or three years, is ludicrous. And he faithfully parrots Frau Fritz' At around 8:15 and following, he sneers like a good Angiebot at the 50% youth unemployment in Spain, which he cheerfully and ridiculously blames on the Spanish educational system.
All of which makes me wonder why he's even bothering to talk about the constitutional issues in Hungary and Romania. Because he's a complete partisan of Frau Fritz' economic policies that are maximizing the economic damage of the depression. And his ugly cynicism about Spanish unemployment shows he doesn't give a flying flip about the role his Party's austerity policies are playing in destabilizing European democracies.
Just to be clear: I'm no fan of stability for stability's stake. The consensus of the largest right and left parties around the destructive ideology of neoliberalism/austerity/deregulation needs to be destabilized by democratic activism. But our elites have forgotten what even in the 1970s was taken to be clear lesson of the Great Depression, that a depression can destabilize democracies in ways that make them vulnerable not only to needed democratic change to authoritarian, anti-democracy movements.
Until we she Frau Fritz and her Party pushing hard for more effective regulation on banks and other large financial institutions, I'm going to assume that Brok's nice-sounding talk about the need for such, buried as it is in the usual Angiebot cliches that stand for slamming down workers' incomes and more deregulation, to be nothing but hot air.
Tags: angela merkel, elmar brok, austria, eu, euro, hungary, romania, spain
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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