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Old 12-18-2011, 08:00 PM   #91
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Other examples that THIS european construction is now way socialist at all is the project of European Constitution and the Lisbon Treaty. I remember somethings that I have already posted on this forum about the Lisbon Treaty and the project of European Constitution. I'm going to do copy/paste of a post I did in November about this subject:

- It's a liberalist constitution;
- When it's approved it's not possible to change it;
- The word "bank" appears 176 times (in more than those 800 pages), "market" 78 times, "competition" 174 times... And "social progress" 3 times... "brotherhood" or "fraternity" appears... 0(!) times;
- "Public service" is reffered... Only 1(!) time and only to talk about transport coordination;
- "The right to have a job", "the right to a minimum salary, income or retirement pension", "the right to health" are reffered... 0(!) times. There no "right to accomodation", but only the "right to be accomodated";
- It reffers that "public services must be privatized and oppened to competition" and it says that "public help funds" must be restricted;
- The European Parliment has no right to propose laws, that's a function of the European Commission which is not directly elected in the european elections;
- The priority of the EU is to fight - not unemployment, not poverty, but... - inflation;
- European Central Bank is... completely independent, it has no control, which means that the UE is not allowed to define its own monetary policies;
- In case of war, the priority is - not the UE intervention to stop it, not an appeal to United Nations, but instead... - to avoid turmoils in the financial markets;
I admit, I was not aware of much of this. I have never read the treaty, I voted no to it but for fairly broad and fundamental eurosceptic reasons (I never wanted the EU project to be anything more than a free trade zone, with perhaps some co-operation on defense and security matters tacked on, given that we live in a post 9-11 world. I don't think it should even have a constitution) rather than based on any in-depth political analysis of the details of the treaty. That said, I may have to re-assess my analysis of the EU project.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:50 PM   #92
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I admit, I was not aware of much of this. I have never read the treaty, I voted no to it but for fairly broad and fundamental eurosceptic reasons (I never wanted the EU project to be anything more than a free trade zone, with perhaps some co-operation on defense and security matters tacked on, given that we live in a post 9-11 world. I don't think it should even have a constitution) rather than based on any in-depth political analysis of the details of the treaty. That said, I may have to re-assess my analysis of the EU project.
I totally understand your reasons. Whether we're talking about the Euro, the EU, or Europe, any of these matters are very delicate.
Last week, on a portuguese TV channel, a journalist said that Europe/the EU shouldn't be what it's doing now. The EU should look back, understand when it started to go wrong, deconstruct the Europe-project to that part and reconstruct it again. The problem is that I think that the whole EU project, although with the best intentions (because the leaders of the 1950's/60's/70's/80's were real/true stadists that remembered very well what happened in the first half of the XXth century) has big faults from the beggining. Starting on the fact that, despite some referendums here and there, the whole project was constructed against the people's (of all the countries) will. The construction of "Europe" hasn't been a democratic process at all.
Isn't that enough reason to relight the nationalist mistrust and hate that we know it still exist between most of all european countries?

I have no idea if the EU should "disband" or if it should go forward into federalism.
I'm not sure federalism would work, because Europe has highly strong nationalisms inside (even different and radical nationalisms inside countries), even though we forgot about it for a few decades.

On the other hand, since we're all going to start to suffer the real and devastating consequences of a disorganized non-planned globalization, I think the only way for Europe to "survive" in this new competition we're facing (and that we never expected because for many time in History Europe ruled alone or almost alone) is for the countries to join forces and work together... And this may have to go through federalism.

I'm a bit confused to about what's gonna happen and how it's gonna be. But I have to say that something's happening in Europe that Europe wasn't watching long long ago. And that's dangerous, not a good sign. So, I'm a little afraid too.
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:05 AM   #93
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Starting on the fact that, despite some referendums here and there, the whole project was constructed against the people's (of all the countries) will.
That is not strictly true. For example, I seem to remember people in the Netherlands being fairly excited about the euro in the years running up to its introduction. While people now look back at the time they had to exchange currency when visiting a foreign country with nostalgia, that's a bit of a false memory, because back in the day people weren't that fond of it. It was only after the euro was introduced in 2002 and people became aware that shopkeepers were using the transition to increase their prices that discontent began to grow.
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Europe has highly strong nationalisms inside (even different and radical nationalisms inside countries), even though we forgot about it for a few decades.
That's something that's beginning to dawn on me as well. I kept wondering where all this nationalism suddenly came from after decades of liberalism and tolerance, but I'm now getting more and more convinced that the nationalism has actually never gone away. It was merely dormant, waiting to be woken up in times of discontent. The Netherlands is like 1930s Weimar Republic now: blaming its troubles on an ethnoreligious minority in times of economic downturn.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:51 AM   #94
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That is not strictly true. For example, I seem to remember people in the Netherlands being fairly excited about the euro in the years running up to its introduction. While people now look back at the time they had to exchange currency when visiting a foreign country with nostalgia, that's a bit of a false memory, because back in the day people weren't that fond of it. It was only after the euro was introduced in 2002 and people became aware that shopkeepers were using the transition to increase their prices that discontent began to grow.

That's something that's beginning to dawn on me as well. I kept wondering where all this nationalism suddenly came from after decades of liberalism and tolerance, but I'm now getting more and more convinced that the nationalism has actually never gone away. It was merely dormant, waiting to be woken up in times of discontent. The Netherlands is like 1930s Weimar Republic now: blaming its troubles on an ethnoreligious minority in times of economic downturn.
That's what's dangerous about Europe. Because Europe never was and never will be in full peace. It's a puzzle with very strong identities and mutual old hatreds that, as you, I guess they never died. But the possibility of an European dream made the peoples forget it for some decades.

You're right in the first paragraph. I didn't really mean to say that Europe has been built against people's will, what I really meant to say is that Europe has been built non-democratically, because, despite some referendums and some leaders that said what they want, in most countries no one was asked (since the 1950's and the EEC) if they wanted, not only to join the project but also to progress in the different stages of the process.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:47 PM   #95
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:09 AM   #96
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Today, a portuguese columnist wrote an article that subscribes entirely some things I've been saying in this and in an other topic. Since the article is written in portuguese, I'm going to try to translate it myself.

2012/2013: The Years Of All The Dangers

«Adidas would be ready to the return of local currencies». Herbert Hainer, master of the german sportswear enterprise said that. Of course, right after this, he publicly communicated an optimistic statement. This statement was unthinkable just a few months ago, and now it's uttered by big businessmen in public interviews. The end of the Euro is not an unthinkable absurdity anymore. It's now a real possibility. And many people are already doing the maths counting on that.

The next year, right next week, and the following one, will determine the future of this continent. And that future is hang by the future of a currency.
There are things that after having happened have no return. The EU would have existed if the Euro didn't exist, but since it was created, the EU will die after the death of the Euro. And if the EU dies, Europe will return, in the middle of a crisis, to its worse moments. All the ghosts of the past - that we always thought that were fully overcome - may return. This small continent, with too much History, filled with ex-imperial powers, won't be able to stand a profound crisis if each one takes care of itself.

But Europe is living a dilema: to save the Euro without changing its architecture and without the democratization of the EU will have the same effect than to leave it. If we feed the illusion that we can save the currency by the destruction of the economy and the national democracies, that end will be the same or even more destructive. Those who believe that can sacrify everything in the name of the Euro have no idea of they have to save in order to save the Euro. Only the reconstruction of the european institutions and the reformulation of the economic and monetary policies can take Europe from the hole "she" did put herself inside.

At the present, the stakes are much higher than only the economy. It's much more than just the european social model. It's even more than the democracy. It's 65 years of peace. What amazes me is that before such huge dangers, the european people, with no exception, insist in electing, one after another, insignificant and "small" leaders and people. What impresses me is that, being possible to break this tragedy and existing so many people counscious of this eminence, we're all stepping forward to the abyss as if that walk was inevitable»


*sorry for my poor english, I tried to stay loyal to the original text in the translation
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Old 12-28-2011, 02:44 PM   #97
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just read a really sad article, families can no longer afford to feed their children and are abandoning them or putting them into care... these are the kind of things my friend in Uganda experiences, but this is Europe...

Greek economic crisis turns tragic for children abandoned by their families | World news | The Guardian
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:00 PM   #98
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just read a really sad article, families can no longer afford to feed their children and are abandoning them or putting them into care... these are the kind of things my friend in Uganda experiences, but this is Europe...

Greek economic crisis turns tragic for children abandoned by their families | World news | The Guardian
There are reports that the number of people recouring to the soup kitchens is increasing very fast. Last week, there was an article reporting too that the number of children that faint in schools because of not being fed is increasing too.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:41 PM   #99
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a tragedy
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:13 AM   #100
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Fascism rises from the depths of Greece's despair - Europe - World - The Independent
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:48 AM   #101
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No surprises here.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:48 PM   #102
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Nothing breeds extremism like poverty.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:41 PM   #103
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The motion: "Greece should default on its debt and leave the Euro"

IQ2 Debate: Greece and the Euro - Part 1/2 - YouTube

IQ2 Debate: Greece and the Euro - Part 2/2 - YouTube

I liked what Nouriel Roubini had to say but it was not popular in voting at the end of the debate. Not a surprise there.
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:47 PM   #104
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In Greece, illegal imigrants are being locked in new version of concentration camps, which they call detention camps. Why? To steal votes from the Chrysi Avgi, an assumed neonazi party that will have 3 to 6% in tomorrow's elections. This last week, Antonis Samaras, the leader of the conservatives, New Democracy, said he wants to kick away every illegal immigrant from Greece, putting the responsibility of the country's situation in immigrants. Doesn't this ring an historical bell in your head? It does for me.
No party will reach absolute majority and there's a huge possibility that PASOK (self-called socialists, but Third Way, in fact) and ND (conservatives/right wing), the parties that dominated greek politics since 1974, will not reach absolute majority... Together.
Ten parties will enter the Syntagma, the greek parliment, including the neonazi Chrysi Avgi.

The Netherlands, one of Germany's biggest ally since the crisis (and also an appologist in Europe of the speech that the PIIGS - Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain- are lazy and don't work) tasted its own poison when the ally of the Government party rejected more austerity, leading to the fall of the dutch Government.
Consequence: the opinion polls present the extreme-right party as the best placed to win antecipated elections in September.

In France, the nationalist Marine Le Pen had 18% of votes two weeks ago. 18% is even more that what her father had (16%) a few years ago. The "Front Nationale" party is so strong now, that the second turn of the presidential presented a dispute of her electorate between Sarkozy and the pseudo-socialist Hollande.

In Germany, the opinion polls present a crescent ascent of the Pirate Party, now with 7-11%, leaving the Die Linke (left party) behind. What's so special about the Pirate Party? It is composed by left radicals, yes. But last week there were news that some right-extremists integrate this movement.

Hungary is today a dictatorship and the UE consents that. A country where the Government shuts down radios linked to opposition, where it arrests the leaders of opposition parties during riots, where homeless are arrested because they're not allowed to stay on the streets and where the Constitution was changed to "God, Country and Family" (the exact same slogan of Portuguese's fascist era... I call that a dictatorship.

In Portugal, slowly and discreetly, here and there, some events start to smell too much of Estado Novo (the fascist dictatorship of Salazar), like having the Minister of Propaganda firing who's inconvenient for the Government, arresting those who are grouped in more than 2 people, leaving orders to the police to spank people who are in peaceful demonstrations (which is the tradition in Portugal, unlike in other countries), etc.

All this sounds way too much to the dangerous 1930's and I'm really not liking this at all.
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Old 05-05-2012, 05:13 PM   #105
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All this sounds way too much to the dangerous 1930's and I'm really not liking this at all.
I was just having this thought... I highly doubt that the conclusion will be the same, and things aren't as extreme, but there are definitely striking similarities.
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