THE FACTS ON THE EU ARE BEING SUBMERGED BECAUSE THE EU IS SINKING
Apart from the fact that it’s much nicer on every dimension to live in agrarian France, those still convinced they want to stay in the EU should be aware of the fact that an informal (but nevertheless very real) self-censorship by the pro-EU media right across Europe is attempting to paint a ludicrously rosey picture of the eurozone in other places where things are, shall we say, somewhat more tense.
I’ve been looking at footage online from Calais over the last few days. The only conclusion one can reach is that the authorities have lost control of the situation: marauding gangs of men are lighting fires, threatening vehicles, and wandering about completely unhindered.
Having noticed the huge supermarket chain Casino suffering losses in several overseas regions, I’ve been pottering about looking at smaller communities here. In six out of seven I visited, their Petit Casino stores have been abruptly closed en permanence. The group is obviously engaged in a massive cost-cutting exercise. Another megagroup LeClerc has introduced a petrol fillup system whereby only those spending over €60 instore can use the service….but that relates to another issue.
Thousands of petrol stations across France began running out of petrol this weekend as protests over a labour market reform led to blockades that hampered fuel supply. The country has been hit by a wave of strikes during the past week after President Francois Hollande opted to force the unpopular labour market reforms through the lower house of parliament without a vote. Maybe he should change his name to Erdogan.
Have you read anything about this in the UK media? I found reports from Reuters, Euronews, Fortune, The Australian, and Connexion (an expat English paper here) and French telly, but the now virtual-only Indie alone reported anything about it that I saw…and narrowly, in relation to a strike by police.
The fact is that – as The Slog first revealed last year – Hollande has been ordered by the EC-ECB-Eurogrope Troika to pass the reforms come what may. Three pricks in Brussels and Frankfurt are now telling the elected Monsieur le Président de France when to jump.
A large retail banking group has made all personal afternoon visits to the bank strictly by appointment only. This too is cost-cutting: till service is to be quietly phased out over the next two years.
Greece is….well, Greece: a failed State now, and the barmy Berliners seem to have won again: Tsipras has recommended another ‘deal’ to Parliament, in which there are more taxes, lower wages and more money to borrow: the unacceptable in concert with the unachievable. The worst possible outcome, and yet again the work of economic illiterates living in the 1920s.
What the IMF will do now is anyone’s guess. No debt relief has appeared either on or under the table as yet.
There were widespread demonstrations throughout Athens last night, culminating in another session in Syntagma Square to protest about the new measures. There was also a 48 hour strike bringing all transport acrosss the City to a standstill over the weekend.
Austria and Italy, meanwhile, remain at loggerheads on migrants. Last year, Vienna accepted 90,000 migrants. Now it is threatening to construct a 375-metre long fence unless Italy stops the refugee flow.
Italy has severe problems of its own in the banking sector, and the government can provide only limited financial backing because of EU state aid rules. The country already has a public debt load at 132.5% of GDP.
The reality is that Italy must in the end choose between the euro and its own economic survival as a State. Do the maths: there’s no other way of assessing it.
Austria’s own angst is being displayed in the ongoing Prsidential elections there, where both the Greens and the Far Right have done well. The Heta Bank disaster remains what Blomberg has called ‘a half-buried Zombie’, and as of five days ago the issue of who honours what and why a bailin must happen before long is in the constitutional courts.
I was unable to find any eurozone source over the last week who saw anything but tears as the outcome: and the risks of contagion to other ezone banks are probably higher in Austria than from any other euro member.
Perhaps Wolfie will solve the problem by ordering Anschluss Zwei.
Spain has had no real government to speak of now for nearly six months. It’s a spiralling crisis, and that it appears to be circling around….just above the plughole. Last month, Mariano Rajoy, the former prime minister, turned down an offer from the king to form a government.
This is where it gets really silly: his government ministers refuse to recognise the Parliament that resulted from the election or even deal with its lawmakers. The new Parliament has taken the government to court for not recognising its legitimacy, but on the other hand, it doesn’t recognise the legitimacy of Mr. Rajoy. This could be a polite way for both sides to keep calling each other bastards.
Looking down from a higher helicopter, more central to the standoff is the Podemos view of TTIP: ongoing negotiations for a free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States have triggered numerous citizen protests across Spain, where Livestock breeders, farmers, environmentalists, anti-globalisation activists have joined with Podemos to be the most vocal opponents of the TTIP deal, thee exact terms of which are being kept secret, and will not be put to either MEPs or national EU State legislatures for approval.
In the UK, we have an historically and constitutionally illiterate spiv where the Prime Minister should be. He and those corporatist zealots with whom he surrounds himself are delighted to Remain in the EU because they agree with its values and vision completely – that is, the avoidance of any collision with morals, ethics, democracy, liberty, equality or dangerous ideas like the sovereignty of the Citizen.
The more intolerant and Internationalist elements in the Labour Party have a delusional EU vision, but the same worthless value system.
All I and thousands of others can do is point out – using facts like those presented in this post, rather than hairy-scary fear invention – that it isn’t just a case of leaving the European Union: it is as much a case of escaping from the gravitational pull of its rapidly submerging economy, currency and structures.