Whatever the outcome of the Greek crisis, the image of the EU has been very badly damaged. Breitbart:
What an absolute mess the Eurozone has become. Does David Cameron really think he can mount a persuasive argument for the UK to stay in a minute longer or will he be the only rat swimming towards that sinking ship?
Greece must be cudgeled into cringing subordination — or if it leaves the euro, it must be as brutal an experience as possible, so as to put fear into the hearts of anyone else who would question elite hegemony.
That seems to be the ultimate endpoint of European post-democracy. Eurozone elites were too stupid or insane to avoid crushing Spain and Greece (and every member of the eurozone to some extent, even Germany) with austerity and tight money. Now that the worst-hit country has tried to wriggle out of the iron maiden, it will either be forced to submit or scourged out of the euro. If Spain tries the same trick — it has seen the rise of a similar leftist party — it will surely get the same treatment. God only knows who might be next, when the next financial crisis comes.
Unity, prosperity, and democracy have been struck off the European monument. In its place are division, economic collapse, and an aristocracy of well-credentialed idiots.
Europe has moved, at a very rapid clip, from a union of 28 different sovereign states, each with their own governments and political views and directions, to one where a top heavy bureaucratic structure, hand-puppeted on by a mere handful member states and systemic banks, dictate what each member state, both its politicians and its citizens, may do or not do. Or think. Electing a left wing government, for instance, equals asking for trouble.
There is no democracy left in Europe, people have no direct say anymore, there’s just a two-pronged dictatorship: there’s Merkel and Hollande, who in the Greek crisis have proven themselves to be mere tools to vested interests
And H/T Rene van Geffen (why he commented in About, I do not know) for this:
From Ukraine to Uruguay, Moldova to the Philippines, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its foreign affiliates have become the hammer for the tobacco industry, engaging in a worldwide effort to fight antismoking laws of all kinds, according to interviews with government ministers, lobbyists, lawmakers and public health groups in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States.
The U.S. Chamber’s work in support of the tobacco industry in recent years has emerged as a priority at the same time the industry has faced one of the most serious threats in its history. A global treaty, negotiated through the World Health Organization, mandates anti-smoking measures and also seeks to curb the influence of the tobacco industry in policy making. The treaty, which took effect in 2005, has been ratified by 179 countries; holdouts include Cuba, Haiti and the United States.
Facing a wave of new legislation around the world, the tobacco lobby has turned for help to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with the weight of American business behind it. While the chamber’s global tobacco lobbying has been largely hidden from public view, its influence has been widely felt.
Letters, emails and other documents from foreign governments, the chamber’s affiliates and antismoking groups, which were reviewed by The New York Times, show how the chamber has embraced the challenge, undertaking a three-pronged strategy in its global campaign to advance the interests of the tobacco industry.
In the capitals of far-flung nations, the chamber lobbies alongside its foreign affiliates to beat back antismoking laws.
The treaty mentioned is undoubtedly the FCTC, about which Chris Snowdon had this to say today:
The ‘Treaty’ has never been enshrined in law in Britain or the EU, so this is wibble from the outset. There are no ‘legal obligations’. From a legal perspective, the FCTC is nothing more than a bunch of aspirations, but even if Article 5.3 was the law, it clearly refers to health policy, not trade policy, smuggling or waste disposal.
I’d always understood that once the UK had ratified the FCTC (which it has), it was bound by it, and that’s one of the main reasons why smoking bans have been rolled out by signatory countries all around the world. This needs further investigation (see comments here).
Anyway, I didn’t know the US Chamber of Commerce had taken the side of tobacco companies. I’m so used to big organisations being fully-paid-up antismoking shills that it came as a bit of a shock to find one that wasn’t. I guess that is because it’s probably not a government agency.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business organization representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions. Our members range from mom-and-pop shops and local chambers to leading industry associations and large corporations. They all share one thing–they count on the Chamber to be their voice in Washington, D.C.