The Euro as diktat and delirium

Note kindly translated by anne-Marie de Grazia

The various revelations on the conditions under which the agreement, one ought better say the diktat, between Greece and its creditors has been wrested off, confirm what one could have guessed right away. This agreement is a true disaster for all of its signatories, and for Greece first of all. The long interview given in the night of Wednesday, July 14th by Alexis Tsipras to the state television ERT confirms this[1]. He owns up to the fact that the agreement is a “bad agreement.” The analysis made on his blog by the former Minister of Finances, M. Yannis Varoufakis, goes the same way [2]. Moreover, the International Monetary Fund has made public a note of analysis which had been communicated to ALL parties present as early as July 6th and which shows in an irrefutable manner that this agreement is not viable [3]. Showing another face of the drama which unfolded during the night of the 12th to the 13th: all this is for nothing. Another agreement will have to be found soon, and the perspective of an expulsion of Greece out of the Eurozone is gaining strength [4]. The German Minister of Finances, Mr Schäuble, has admitted so himself, and so has the former governor of the Central Bank of Belgium [5]. This renders the proclamation of success made by our President in Brussels on the morning of the 13th particularly derisory. The vote which occurred at the French Parliament is just as ridiculous. The deputies are asked to pronounce themselves on an agreement one knows to be inapplicable. The deputies of the French Communist Party, inclined at first to vote yes – it’s true, isn’t it, Pierre Laurent? – for reasons of subsistence, pulled themselves together again and should vote « no ». The drama here joins up with the absurd.

 

The Euro before Greece, the Euro before France

Yet, one must read in detail the declaration François Hollande made in the morning of July 13th; for this, one must have a good stomach. Let’s remark, first of all, that he doesn’t talk about Greece, only about the Eurozone. This shows well what his priorities are: « The aim was to act so that the Eurozone could be preserved in its integrity, in its unity, in its solidarity»[6]. We notice that the first words used to present the substance of the text in no way mention the suffering, the efforts and the hopes of the Greek people. No, what is of the greatest importance is the integrity of the Eurozone. All is said in these lines, and particularly the preference for a bureaucratic construction, which a great many economists do not judge to be viable, over the will and the life of the peoples. This is corroborated by the third paragraph of the text: « What I wanted was more than the interest of Greece, it was the interest of Europe. And it was also the interest of France. For the interest of France cannot be dissociated from the interest of Europe »[7]. The order of priorities is thus established : first Europe, then France, finally Greece. But this is based on a lie, more precisely a double lie : the one assimilating the Eurozone to the European Union, and the one assimilating the European Union to Europe. Both are perfectly scandalous. The Eurozone is by no means the European Union. Some countries belonging to the European Union are in no way part of the Eurozone. Such is the case of Great-Britain, Sweden, Poland or Hungary. Moreover, the European Union by no means includes all of Europe. Switzerland, Norway or Serbia in the Balkans, Belarus, Russia or Ukraine, are all countries which belong to Europe, as a geographic reality but also as a cultural one, without being part of the EU. Are we to believe that Munch, the author of the « Scream, » or that artists such as Dostoyevsky, Pushkin or Tolstoy are not Europeans? Is one forgetting that the European Union is a political and economic alliance of some countries in Europe? Wanting to present it as the whole of Europe is a lie. The fact that the lie is proffered by the highest authority in the state changes nothing. In the contrary, it makes it worse. It turns into a dogma, without making it true, what turns out to be a lie.

He goes on to repeat this lie a bit farther down in the text, especially when he says : « Greece is a friendly country who wanted to enter into the Eurozone after years of dictatorship ». In fact, as is well shown by the date of adhesion, it was to the Economic European Communities, in other words, to the « Common Market » that Greece adhered after the episode of the dictatorship of the Colonels. It could not have adhered in 1981 to the EU when the latter dates back only to 1992 and the Single European Act to 1986. François Hollande puts history on its head and doesn’t care about chronology. Here too, there is a logic in his lying: in pretending that the EU, a titanic endeavor, an unheard of enterprise, existed even before being born. If this is not ideological blindness, one can’t fathom what it is.

 

Euro über alles

One can see the consequences of this lying. Another quote from President Hollande’s declaration is most enlightening on the subject : « The aim was for Europe to measure up with the challenge raised, to be able to resolve a crisis which has been undermining the Eurozone for years. The aim was also to give hope to Greece after so many years of suffering, of austerity – even if Greece is not at the end of it all and will still need to make efforts… …[8] » Here the lying is becoming pathetic. Not only did the agreement not “measure up” to the challenge, simply because it did not solve anything. As one can well see in the positions taken by the IMF on July 14th and 15th. But in addition, the agreement gives no hope at all to the Greek people. In the contrary, the latter is living as a terrible humiliation the political clauses of this agreement, which are forthwith imposing the approval of European institutions to be put on the laws which will be presented before the vote of the Greek Parliament. The fourth paragraph too is devastating as to the pretentiousness of our President: « France has a special role to play : acting in such a way that this process, this construction which started to be built after the war may continue with, of course, its hardships, its challenges, but in the same time always with the will to embody strength, the strength of the Eurozone, a monetary zone which must make possible stability and growth. There is no stability without growth, there is no growth without stability [9]». We’ll notice the mixing of genres, which comes not by accident. The Eurozone is presented as being in the continuity of the Marshall Plan and of the European Economic Community (the « Common Market »). This constitute a flagrant error, an astonishing distortion of historical truth. But the statement on which the quote concludes, associating growth and stability, is again an impudent lie. For the Eurozone has led to a drop in growth for the members countries of the Eurozone, and it has brought with it considerable fluctuations. This has been established in many books [10], the one I wrote in 2012 particularly[11]. In fact, the Eurozone has never been a factor of stability nor a factor of growth for the member countries.

 

The delirious reasoning of a new religion

But this idea of the Euro has washed everything away in the mind of our President and under the pen of his advisers. As he comes back to this theme at the end of his declaration, it is to say this: « If Greece had left the Eurozone, what would one have said? That the Eurozone is not capable to insure its integrity, its solidarity. What would one have said about of the Greeks? That they are not capable of taking their responsibilities. What would one have said of France, of Germany, whose calling it is to give such an impulse? That we were not present at the call. The Eurozone would have taken a step backwards, when Europe must forge ahead and carry a project which can protect the peoples – for the Euro is protecting the countries which are partaking of this monetary zone. What would one have said about the dislocation of this great idea? [12] ». Here, everything comes out. As much the mystical faith in a Euro “protector of the peoples,” as the one assimilating the Euro to Europe. Reason, intelligence, a sense of measure have been swept away by an “idée fixe” which is turning into delirium, but is always moved by the same logic.

Such a reasoning delirium explains why and how one can travesty as a freely negotiated agreement what has been nothing else but the rape of Greek sovereignty. A gang rape, carried out by Germany, but also by the Eurogroup and his President M. Dijsselbloem, by the European Commission with Jean-Claude Juncker. And if France did not participate, it locked the door of the room where the crime was committed and it pushed the gag into the victim’s throat. The sentence spoken and written by François Hollande takes a sinister turn : « But today, even if it took a bit long, I think that this has been for Europe a good night, and a good day ». For we know at present that this torture was inflicted for nothing. The agreement signed in the morning of July 13th is unravelling by the hour. The perspective of an exit of Greece out of the Eurozone is again on the table.

One can commit crimes in politics, but to go around boasting about them when their results are most uncertain is not a sign of great intelligence. It is, at most, the result of a profound blindness, of ideological fanaticism, of a delirious reasoning which must be punished at the next elections.

 

 

[1] http://www.newgreektv.com/index.php/greece/item/16414-prime-minister-alexis-tsipras-interview-in-english-translation

[2] Varoufakis Y., « On the Euro Summit’s Statement on Greece: First thoughts » , note posted on July 14th 2015, http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2015/07/14/on-the-euro-summits-statement-on-greece-first-thoughts/

[3] IMF, AN UPDATE OF IMF STAFF’S PRELIMINARY PUBLIC DEBT SUSTAINABILITY ANALYSIS, IMF Country Report No. 15/186, July 14th 2015, Washington DC.

[4] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11739985/IMF-stuns-Europe-with-call-for-massive-Greek-debt-relief.html

[5] http://trends.levif.be/economie/politique-economique/luc-coene-je -me-demande-si-un-grexit-n-aurait-pas-ete-mieux/article-normal-405469.html

[6] Press conference of President François Hollande of July 13th 2015, text coming from the site http://www.elysee.fr/declarations/article/conference-de-presse-a-l-issue-du-sommet-de-la-zone-euro-2/

[7] Press conference of President François Hollande of July 13th 2015, op.cit..

[8] Press conference of President François Hollande of July 13th 2015, op.cit..

[9] Press conference of President François Hollande of July 13th 2015, op.cit..

[10] See Bibow, J., and A. Terzi (eds.), Euroland and the World Economy—Global Player or Global Drag? London, Palgrave, 2007.

[11] Sapir J., Faut-il sortir de l’Euro ?, Le Seuil, Paris, 2012

[12] Press conference of President François Hollande of July 13th 2015, op.cit..

 


Jacques Sapir

Ses travaux de chercheur se sont orientés dans trois dimensions, l’étude de l’économie russe et de la transition, l’analyse des crises financières et des recherches théoriques sur les institutions économiques et les interactions entre les comportements individuels. Il a poursuivi ses recherches à partir de 2000 sur les interactions entre les régimes de change, la structuration des systèmes financiers et les instabilités macroéconomiques. Depuis 2007 il s'est impliqué dans l’analyse de la crise financière actuelle, et en particulier dans la crise de la zone Euro.

Vous aimerez aussi...

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse de messagerie ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *