Not Pooling, But Stripping Away Sovereignty

More responses to the Greek crisis.

Walter Munchau:

Greece’s brutal creditors have demolished the eurozone project

Stripped of ambitions for a political and economic union, the bloc changes into a utilitarian project

A few things that many of us took for granted, and that some of us believed in, ended in a single weekend. By forcing Alexis Tsipras into a humiliating defeat, Greece’s creditors have done a lot more than bring about regime change in Greece or endanger its relations with the eurozone. They have destroyed the eurozone as we know it and demolished the idea of a monetary union as a step towards a democratic political union.

In doing so they reverted to the nationalist European power struggles of the 19th and early 20th century. They demoted the eurozone into a toxic fixed exchange-rate system, with a shared single currency, run in the interests of Germany, held together by the threat of absolute destitution for those who challenge the prevailing order. The best thing that can be said of the weekend is the brutal honesty of those perpetrating this regime change.

Yanis Varoufakis:

Never before has the European Union made a decision that undermines so fundamentally the project of European Integration. Europe’s leaders, in treating Alexis Tsipras and our government the way they did, dealt a decisive blow against the European project…

The Euro Summit statement of yesterday morning signalled a complete annulment of national sovereignty, without putting in its place a supra-national, pan-European, sovereign body politic. Europeans, even those who give not a damn for Greece, ought to beware.

It started out in 1957 as the European Economic Community. I place emphasis on the word community, with all its resonances. Forty years later, it metamorphosed into the centralised European Union, and the ‘community’ began to atrophy. It’s very arguably now the ever-expanding European Empire, with an eastern front in Ukraine. Manuel Barroso even referred to it as an empire:

Any sense that this is a harmonious community of equals has now completely vanished. It’s become the naked tyranny of the stronger states over the weaker, which have become their debt slaves. Italy and Spain can expect to be treated no better than Greece.

In the video above, Barroso says:

We have the dimension of empires. But there is a great difference. The empires were usually made through force, with a centre that was imposing a diktat – a will – on the others. And now we have what some authors call the first non-imperial empire. We have by dimension 27 countries that freely decided to work together to pool their sovereignty – if you want to use that concept of sovereignty -, and work together to make value.

But sovereignty has not been ‘pooled’. The EU continues to be composed of nominally sovereign states, each first and foremost looking after their own interests (as sovereign states do). But some of these states are richer and more powerful than others, and can now impose their diktat – their will – on others, and they are now doing exactly that.

If sovereignty really had been ‘pooled’, Angela Merkel would have regarded the Greek people as her own people. And the Tsipras would have regarded Greece’s debts as being as binding as promises made to fellow Greeks. Neither have done so. For Merkel, Greece is a country as different and as distant as Nepal, and for Tsipras Greece’s debts are to other people than his own.

Instead of sovereignty being ‘pooled’, sovereignty is now being stripped away from the weaker states one by one, leaving a centre that imposes its diktat on all the others. First Greece,…

It should be the Greek people that are reeling by another, even greater stunner, just spoken by the Greek PM during his TV interview: an admission from the chosen Greek “leader” that Greece, as a sovereign nation, no longer exists:


…and then all the rest, one by one.

Starting out as a “community”, the EU has now become a prison from which its member states must now wish to escape, and regret ever having joined.

In a further development today:

The International Monetary Fund has set off a political earthquake in Europe, warning that Greece may need a full moratorium on debt payments for 30 years and perhaps even long-term subsidies to claw its way out of depression.

“The dramatic deterioration in debt sustainability points to the need for debt relief on a scale that would need to go well beyond what has been under consideration to date,” said the IMF in a confidential report…

The findings are explosive. The document amounts to a warning that the IMF will not take part in any EMU-led rescue package for Greece unless Germany and the EMU creditor powers finally agree to sweeping debt relief.

This vastly complicates the rescue deal agreed by eurozone leaders in marathon talks over the weekend since Germany insists that the bail-out cannot go ahead unless the IMF is involved.


About Frank Davis

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33 Responses to Not Pooling, But Stripping Away Sovereignty

  1. cherie79 says:

    All this has made me decide to vote no, previously I was undecided but thought in the end I would vote yes. I love Europe and lived in Germany for some years but I loathe what it has become, a Third Reich without firing a shot.

  2. jaxthefirst says:

    “But there is a great difference. The empires were usually made through force, with a centre that was imposing a diktat – a will – on the others.”

    And what, precisely, Mr Barroso, has the EU just done to Greece??

    There. Is. No. Difference. End of.

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    It literally means the EU cronies are saying the the private investors will have to eat their losses all over the EU in the end. The loans the EU demanded they buy…………contangion shit that’s not even going to cover whats fixing to happen. If nobody can pay nobody else can then pay……….and that’s how shit flows down and uphill.

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    Those who are committed to non-violent resistance might wish to read this:

    How to Topple a Dictator (Peacefully). By Tina Rosenberg. The New York Times, Feb. 13, 2015.

    “The teachers [of a weeklong class in revolution] were Srdja Popovic and Slobodan Djinovic — leaders of Otpor, a student movement in Serbia that had been instrumental in the overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. After then helping the successful democracy movements in Georgia and Ukraine, the two founded the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (Canvas), and have traveled the world, training democracy activists from 46 countries in Otpor’s methods… In a new book, ‘Blueprint for Revolution,’ Popovic recounts Canvas’s strategies and how people use them… Popovic cheerfully blows up just about every idea most people hold about nonviolent struggle. Here are some:

    Myth: Nonviolence is synonymous with passivity.
    ..Just the opposite, said Djinovic: “We’re here to plan a war.” Nonviolent struggle, Djinovic explained, is a war — just one fought with means other than weapons. It must be as carefully planned as a military campaign.

    Myth: The most successful nonviolent movements arise and progress spontaneously.
    No general would leave a military campaign to chance. A nonviolent war is no different.

    Myth: Nonviolent struggle’s major tactic is amassing large concentrations of people.
    This idea is widespread because the big protests are like the tip of an iceberg: the only thing visible from a distance. Did it look like the ousting of Mubarak started with a spontaneous mass gathering in Tahrir Square? Actually, the occupation of Tahrir Square was carefully planned, and followed two years of work. The Egyptian opposition waited until it knew it had the numbers. Mass concentrations of people aren’t the beginning of a movement, Popovic writes. They’re a victory lap.

  5. waltc says:

    When the EU was first formed, I said at the time that I thought it would either end in WW Three or Oceania. I haven’t changed my mind. But as for suddenly being revealed as a centralized bureaucratic dictatorship, what did people think was going on when they started regulating the shape of bananas? We’re witnessing the same thing here btw, as the federal bureaucracies are micro-regulating more and more of everything. Most of us aren’t seeing it and half of those who see it, actually like it, and will vote for more of it.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Oceania, yes. WW3, no – except if the expanding empire collides heavily with Russia.

      As for regulating the shape of bananas, I think they may have stopped doing that. But it goes to show the kind of burden of over-regulation that the EU has been suffering, and which must increase the costs of more or less everything, as businesses struggle to comply with the tidal wave of regulations and forms and permissions (ask Dick Puddlecote). I think that people don’t mind this until the regulations start regulating something they themselves do.

      • Rose says:

        Bent banana and curved cucumber rules dropped

        “A majority of EU member states, including Britain and Ireland, have voted to reform rules like EC Commission Regulation No 2257/94, which caused international ridicule by stating that all bananas must be “free of abnormal curvature” and at least 14 cm in length.”

        “Under the present regulations, Class 1 cucumbers must be “practically straight” and be bent by a gradient of no more than 1/10.

        Produce that does not meet the minimum standards can not at present be sold as second-class, meaning many edible items are thrown away by farmers.”

  6. jltrader says: Maybe it’s time for Allen Carr style coffee quitting clinics, drinking coffee cessation advice and CRT (caffeine replacement therapy). And a cup of coffee should be called what it really is: a caffeine delivery device. :))

    • Joe L. says:

      It would be a billion-dollar industry. I assume Big Pharma already has developed a plan, and are waiting for an appropriate moment to strike. Like nicotine, caffeine is one of the few drugs not under their control.

      • nisakiman says:

        And so now we await the ‘science’ showing just how lethal second-hand coffee is, followed by calls to ban it from all ‘public’ areas. It sounds insane, but no more so than we are currently seeing from the anti-tobacco freaks.

        • Frank Davis says:

          I suppose secondhand coffee is what you get when smokers’ eyeballs fall into their coffee.

        • beobrigitte says:

          Second-hand coffee is ultra-lethal when a healthist discovers that the second-hand coffee he/she just encountered when smokers’ eyeballs fall into their coffee was filtered using boiling TAP WATER….
          That’s a triple whammy!

        • Rose says:

          Secondhand coffee is when you smell that delicious aroma and maybe decide to have a cup of coffee for yourself even if you’ve never tasted one before i.e.children.

          As Sir George Godber so very nearly said in 1967.

          A Dirty and Dangerous Habit

          “The coffee drinker” chooses for his own gratification to introduce into his own personal micro-environment the agent that will do him harm. What we are trying to do is to persuade him that that voluntary act is not only a long term threat to his future, but also an inducement to others to adopt the same folly.

          We are in fact asking for an almost infinite number of acts at self-abnegation so that a dirty and dangerous habit can be eliminated from our society.”

          Sir George E, Godber, M.D.,
          Chief Medical Officer,
          British Ministry of Health

 Page 8

  7. smofunking says:

    EU? More like FU – Führerpean Union.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    The IMF report states unless major debt forgiveness isn’t made for Greece it will never be sustainable to get out of debt. The way the deal is set now Greeces debt to gdp will go to 200% by 2019……………Greece is but one country spain,portugal,italy even France are all in the sane boat on the front page. It would appear a total EU collapse is going to happen no matter what its NAZI masters may want otherwise and private investors who were duped to buy those debt bonds will lose their shirts in the end.

    Here again they try and squeeze as much as they can before the inevitable happens and the whole world economy goes into the sinkhole of economic armegeddon.

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Bridgeman‎” Anti smoking exposed – Tobacco Control Out of Control” – Fighting Back

    15 mins ·


    Time to influence this poll a little

    Should smoking be banned in public spaces? Even outdoors?

    We discuss if smoking should be further restricted. Should smoking be banned in public spaces? What about in outdoor areas? Vote and discuss in our forum

    • nisakiman says:

      404 – File or directory not found.
      The resource you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

      No joy with that link, Harley.

  10. beobrigitte says:

    I have lost track of what exactly is going on ….
    The BBC news is full of it – I glanced briefly at the screen which showed Obama and read the word “persue”.

    I just checked in case this word exists because I would spell ‘persue’ actually pursue…

    I do wonder:
    Starting out as a “community”, the EU has now become a prison from which its member states must now wish to escape, and regret ever having joined.

    The EU sure has become a prison which is ruled by scaring it’s different states’ members to death. No guns and bombs and whips are needed; just the word “HEALTH”.
    It takes ONE member start a revolt; will Greece be it?

    These days I don’t care much about the EU “community” anymore; I do know that in Greece I find ashtrays on the tables which tells me that I am a welcomed guest.
    Perhaps I’ll get a t-shirt printed “… not in my name” and then spend some time there…

  11. DenisO says:

    I can see the bitterness at the elites in Brussels who have over-stepped all reasonable bounds, but that is the nature of the beast. Power corrupts, in different ways, and normally those who have it, use it for personal purposes. If the E.U. ends, smoking will not be returned to its previous condition where it was treated indifferently. This forum puzzles me. Is Greece an innocent victim of Brussels, like smokers? Can there be any serious thinking beyond smoking?
    Didn’t Greece make a deal to act responsibly when it joined and agreed to what was proposed? Did they go into it intending to be an honest member or not? They have a long time reputation favoring the benefits of Communism, but no understanding or willingness to pay the costs.
    As far as the E.U. goes, a chain is as strong as it weakest link. The E.U. was always composed of suspect links, and they are going to break eventually. Blame it on Germany, OK with me, but it was an unrealistic dream from the start. Those who sold it knew it would come to the end that is apparent now, and they may have decided to cut their losses. Was their bet worth it?
    What’s the Nazi stuff all about?

    • nisakiman says:

      The anti-smoking thing is not a construct of the EU – they have merely become the agents of it’s further prosecution because it’s the ‘Politically Correct’ attitude these days. And the EU is, if nothing else, a beacon of Political Correctness.

      As far as Greece is concerned, they were at least as much the agents of their own downfall as the EU, who colluded in Greece’s unwarranted inclusion in the Eurozone. However, I think it’s important to realise that when we talk of ‘The Greeks’, what we are really talking about is the political elite in Greece. who have for several generations been comprised of a few powerful families who hold all the reins of power. It is they who conned Greece into the EZ, and it is they who milked the system for all it was worth. I believe a thorough investigation would find that a few select families have greater financial worth than Greece itself. Probably all in Swiss bank accounts and/or invested in high-end property around the world.

      Germany wanted Greece to be in the Eurozone because their inclusion dragged down the value of the Euro, which in turn boosted German exports. Greece became, basically, the sacrificial lamb offered up for the enhancement of the German economy. However, that sacrificial lamb is eventually bled dry, and then becomes an encumbrance. Which is the point at which we find ourselves today. Greece has now become a liability, and should ideally be cast adrift. And if the economists had their way, that is exactly what would happen. However, the movers and shakers in Le Grand Projet are politicians, with visions of a New World Order, and as such, they pursue ever closer political integration. So for them, Greece leaving is a big no no.

      Meanwhile, Greece is caught between a rock and a hard place

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    New Study Says Smoking Cigarettes Might Actually Make You Gain Weight

    Allure Magazine (blog)

    News flash: Smoking is really, really bad for you. And now it turns out that the long-held assumption that cigarettes may be associated with weight loss …

    • Joe L. says:

      Same tired bullshit, abusing statistical linkage to imply causation for shock value. They even shamelessly admit it in the article:

      The reasons for this aren’t yet clear, but one possibility is that people who already have an overeating problem may start smoking to curb their eating; alternatively, habitual tobacco use may alter the brain’s reward circuitry in ways that lead to overeating

      As with the recent schizophrenia nonsense, I’ve noticed junk science is getting very sloppy. There are so many blatant reasons to be skeptical of this lifestyle-related junk science, but most people are so trained to have unconditional faith in scientists and doctors that they just read the shocking headline and take it as gospel.

      Thanks to the lifestyle engineers themselves, I’m sure there is now a statistically significant link between being overweight and diet/exercise. By this same method, one could claim dieting and exercise may actually cause people to be overweight. Someone skeptical and wealthy needs to start funding “studies” like these. It’s time to turn the tables…

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Every junk science study done says this

        The reasons for this aren’t yet clear

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        The rise of a pseudo-scientific links lobby

        Every day there seems to be a new study making a link between food, chemicals or lifestyle and ill-health. None of them has any link with reality.

  13. waltc says:

    Secondhand coffee:There was in fact a case in nyc about 15? yrs ago where a woman who lived upstairs from a Starbucks-like coffee shop complained and sued about how the overpowering coffee aroma, loaded w caffeine, was giving her all sorts of symptoms. Doctors testified on her behalf and i believe she won.

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