Submitted by Raúl Ilargi Meijer – The Automatic Earth
The only thing that would really go towards beginning to solve the problems with Greece is for Athens to NOT sign a deal. The short version of why that is so: it would leave the EU intact for longer. And the ECB.
Neither have any viable future, but as they go down, they can cause a lot of damage and pain. It’s mitigating that pain which should now be our priority no. 1, the pain that will result from the demise of Europe’s institutions. But we see precisely zero acknowledgment of this. Anywhere.
All that attention for whatever comes out of yesterday’s, and today’s, and tomorrow’s Troika vs Athens talks is very cute and nice and all, and putting on a ‘phantom summit’ is hilarious, but in reality it’s all based on a far too myopic picture.
Maybe that’s what you get when you’re only looking at life as exclusively consisting of things that can be either bought or sold, which seems to be the way the entire world press interprets the negotiations, the only way they have of interpreting anything. But this is not about money.
There’s more to life than money. That is to say, there’s a lot more going on than those talks and the deal-or-no-deal results that may or may not emanate from them. To wit: If the past 5 months or so have made anything clear, it’s that the eurozone has no future at all, and the EU as a whole has very little.
There is no trust left between Brussels and Greece, and therefore at the same time also not between Brussels and Rome, or Madrid. Italy and Spain could be the next to receive a five-month treatment like the one Greece has had, and the people there sense it. Even if their present governments do not.
As I said a few days ago :
None of these institutions, IMF, EU, ECB, has any raison d’être or any claim to fame unless there is explicit trust in what they represent. That trust is now gone, and it’s hard to see how it can ever be recovered.
Whatever happens to Greece going forward, that is perhaps the biggest gain its dramatic crisis will gift to the rest of Europe, and indeed the world. Which therefore owe it a debt of gratitude, and of solidarity.
You know, we’ve heard it said that politics is about seeing ahead. Well, that’s just too bad, because if there’s one thing European politicians, to a (wo)man, show us these days it’s that they lack the ability to see ahead, even just beyond the beam in their own eyes.
These people don’t see ahead, they project ahead. They are under the self-reinforcing collective illusion that the future will bring what they want it to bring. They honestly think they have the power to control history. And control all of Europe. Their vision of the future is one that they look good in.
And that can in turn only possibly bring about mayhem. Or actually, as the Greece crisis tells us, it already has. Something the leadership in Brussels, Paris and Berlin will flatly deny, because, as Paulo Coelho once said: “Collective madness is called sanity”.
The more power they seek to gather in Brussels, the harder the resistance against them, and against that power, will become. But that is not going to stop them. Just read the report issued last week by the “Five Presidents: Completing Europe’ Economic and Monetary Union.
Brussels sees, projects, solutions to its problems exclusively in more Brussels. But nobody in Europe wants more Brussels. Nobody wants to give up more sovereignty, people instead want back what has been given away. Still, the myopic Five Presidents come with this:
Economic Union: A new boost to convergence, jobs and growth
• Creation of a euro area system of Competitiveness Authorities;
• Strengthened implementation of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure;
• Greater focus on employment and social performance;
• Stronger coordination of economic policies within a revamped European Semester.
Financial Union: Complete the Banking Union
• Setting up a bridge financing mechanism for the Single Resolution Fund (SRF);
• Implementing concrete steps towards the common backstop to the SRF;
• Agreeing on a common Deposit Insurance Scheme;
• Improving the effectiveness of the instrument for direct bank recapitalisation in the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). Launch the Capital Markets Union
• Reinforce the European Systemic Risk Board
Fiscal Union: A new advisory European Fiscal Board
• The board would provide a public and independent assessment, at European level, of how budgets – and their execution – perform against the economic objectives and recommendations set out in the EU fiscal framework. Its advice should feed into the decisions taken by the Commission in the context of the European Semester.