May 10, 2012. Please keep in mind this date.
It is the date in which stupidity and arrogance have touched their highest point in the European euro construction. Never had such a low point been touched in all these years of the construction of our Union.
At an Italian tv (Sky) the European Commission President, Mr. Barroso, has declared (translation above his voice): “I much respect the Greek democracy and of course the Greek Parliament, but I also have to respect the other 16 Parliaments that have approved the program (for Greece). So of course the agreements have to respected by everybody. And if the agreements are not respected it means there are not the conditions to continue with a country that does not respect the agreements…. Look if a member of a club, I don’t want to talk about a specific member, it is like a club, if a member does not respect the rules of a club it is better it leaves the club, and this is valid for any organization, for any institution, for any project“.
Forget about making markets more nervous and convinced of a credible worsening of the probabilities of Greece to remain in the euro area, a cost in terms of interest expenses and lower investment that will be borne by Greek citizens. Forget also about contagion to other euro countries.
And forget also the huge conflict of interest that Mr. Barroso has, being Portuguese. A conflict of interest that will lead him to never say anything of the kind for his country, I am sure. His same country that, a recent ECB study shows, has done much worse then Greece in terms of reforms and productivity over the past decade. The worse actually.
Nevertheless, I personally would never tolerate anything of the kind being said about Portugal.
But do not forget that the true wound that M. Barroso has inflicted to European institutions is a deadly one.
First, a European Commissioner should have no say nor comment to provide on whether a country belonging to the euro area should or should not leave the club because it does not respect the rules. Many many countries have disobeyed the rules in the past without anything being said of the kind to them. Including France and Germany that did not obey the Stability and Growth Pact. But this is again not the point. The main roles of the EC, one can read on its website, are to: “set objectives and priorities for action, propose legislation to Parliament and Council, manage and implement EU policies and the budget, enforce European Law (jointly with the Court of Justice), represent the EU outside Europe (negotiating trade agreements between the EU and other countries, etc.)“. Nowhere is it said that the EC and its President can express opinions on excluding countries from the euro area. Nowhere.
A semantic disgrace accompanies the huge political mistake above. Europe is not a club. Clubs are closed, Europe should not. A club denies entrance to people, Europe should not. I might remind M. Barroso of the language that M. Monnet used to have regarding Europe: “Continuez, continuez, il n’y a pas pour les peuples d’Europe d’autre avenir que dans l’union“.
Europe is a union, not a club. By your words you have contributed to slow down significantly the process of peace and progress that Monnet pushed forward with his words.
You should resign.
11/05/2012 @ 10:33
I agree and with him most of the commissioners such ad Holly Rhen that are only able to speack about austerity, about the sacrifices greeks, italians, spaniards ect have to do to respect the rules.
But the greek default is therir cause.
11/05/2012 @ 13:01
come tanti affermano (vedi ultimo esempio ieri so WSJ) il costo dell’usicta della Grecia dall’euro e’ enormememente esagerata.
I mercati in linea di massima da tempo incorporano aspettative su questo evento e non ci sarebbe nessuno panico se non che reazioni effimere.
Chiaramente nessuno puo’ essere certo di niente. Ma e’ importante capire che ci sono validi argomenti in favore di ambedue le tesi.
Per me ovviamente e’ difficile capire come si debba a tutti costi tenere la Grecia nell’euro e nel tentativo di ottenere cio’ usare il ricatto dell’informazione (se la Grecia esce e’ la fine del mondo == BUGIA). Tipo compartamento italiano.
Per quanto mi riguarda i costi di mantenere la grecia nell’eruo sorpassano i benefici. Hanno gia bruciato miliardi di euro in aiuti…..mi pare ovvio.
12/05/2012 @ 15:48
Wow, perhaps it was this blgg post that prompted various televisions around Europe to call my company Associated Press Television and see if we could get the original version in English. We just got it from SKY, and here are the exact soundbites in English below. Perhaps the one thing you would agree with him on is his last comment that “Europe needs responsible leadership.”
1. Soundbite: (english) Jose Manuel Barroso,EU Commision President
“I very much respect the Greek Democracy, and of course the Greek parliament, but I also have to respect the other 16 parliaments that have approved the program, so of course the agreements have to be respected, by everybody. And if the agreements are not respected, it means that we are not in the condition to continue with a country that does not respect the agreements.”
2.. Soundbite: (english) Jose Manuel Barroso,EU Commission President
“if a member of a club, I am not now speaking about a specific country but if a member of a club does not respect the rules of the club, it’s better not to remain in the club that is for any organization, any institution, in general any project.
3. Soundbite: (english) Jose Manuel Barroso,EU Commision President
“all the decisions, regarding for instance Greece have been unanimously approved by the member states of the Euro area, they are not an imposition of the commission or of the European central bank, they were decisions taken by the governments of Europe, but sometimes what happens, I am going to be very blunt is that the same politicians that take decision in Brussels go back to their countries and say “these decisions are being imposed on us.” When they were the ones who took those decisions. And of course at that moment people get angry because they say so Europe is only taking difficult decisions, so what we have to say is that we need leadership at all levels, responsible leadership that explains the situation.”
12/05/2012 @ 15:49
And one last thing….
My compliments to Giovanna Panchieri — the excellent Brussels-based correspondent for SKY News 24.