When even the media paragon of free-market ideology argues that “Greece must default if it wants democracy,” you know something is profoundly wrong.
Here at ROAR, we usually don’t rely on the analyses brought forward by the mainstream media; in particular not those of the unreconstituted neoliberal intelligentsia at the Financial Times. But the latest article by financial analyst and EU expert Wolfgang Münchau deserves being disseminated widely. Arguing that “Greece must default if it wants democracy,” Münchau has just launched his most scathing critique of the EU’s approach to Greece yet:
When Wolfgang Schäuble proposed that Greece should postpone its elections as a condition for further help, I knew that the game would soon be up. We are at the point where success is no longer compatible with democracy. The German finance minister wants to prevent a “wrong” democratic choice. Similar to this is the suggestion to let the elections go ahead, but to have a grand coalition irrespective of the outcome. The eurozone wants to impose its choice of government on Greece – the eurozone’s first colony.As a leading columnist, Münchau’s articles are widely read by policymakers in Brussels, Berlin and Paris. A friend of mine who used to work in the European Parliament once told me that his writings are extremely influential in informing the political debate among the Brussels eurocrats. What’s more, Münchau can hardly be considered a leftist or a radical. Indeed, most of his work has focused on how to save European capitalism from itself.
It is for this reason that Münchau’s criticism bears significant weight. If even the media paragon of free-market ideology argues that Europe’s approach to Greece has completely and utterly undermined democracy, you know something is profoundly wrong. Indeed, with Dutch Finance Minister De Jager calling for the establishment of a “permanent Troika” in Athens to monitor Greek economic performance, the colonialism critique hits straight home.
Now that the unelected Papandreou government has just committed to five years of austerity and an additional 15 percent wage cut (on top of the 30 percent that’s already been cut), and now that the EU has decided to move ahead with the taxpayer-funded subsidization scheme of its banks by disbursing yet another massive bailout, the battle lines are being drawn anew. Münchau echoes our warning that a social explosion might not be far off:
The German strategy seems to be to make life so unbearable that the Greeks themselves will want to leave the eurozone. Ms Merkel certainly does not want to be caught with a smoking gun in her hand. It is a strategy of assisted suicide, and one that is extremely dangerous and irresponsible.