The European Union is evolving more and more into an empire. On September 15th this year, Guy Verhofstadt, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), the EU’s chief negotiator on Brexit and leader of the EU’s Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe faction, spoke at a Lib.-Dem party congress of the United Kingdom:
«The world order of tomorrow is not a world order based on nation states or countries. It’s a world order based on empires… The world of tomorrow is a world of empires in which we Europeans and you British can only defend your interests, your way of life, by doing it together in a European framework and a European Union.»(more…)
29 February 2016
Human Rights Council
Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.
Report of the Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights on his mission to Greece*
First, Iceland jailed its crooked bankers for their direct involvement in the financial crisis of 2008. Now, every Icelander will receive a payout for the sale of one of its three largest banks, Íslandsbanki.
It was just four months ago, though it already seems like a lifetime away, when Greece’s celebrity finance minister Yanis Varoufakis publicly stated that “creative ambiguity” won the country a “loan lifeline” from the institutions formerly known as the troika: the European Central Bank, the European Commission, and the International Monetary Fund. Despite the never-ending soap opera that is Greek crisis politics though, few would have imagined that the SYRIZA-led coalition government would succeed in outdoing itself in terms of its “creative ambiguity,” by calling a referendum which, just days before the polls open, remains remarkably unclear as to its actual meaning and potential consequences. (more…)
Pensioners taking part in a protest against austerity outside the Greek financial ministry in Athens in December. Photograph: Petros Giannakouris/AP
As economists, we note that the historical evidence demonstrates the futility and dangers of imposing unsustainable debt and repayment conditions on debtor countries; the negative impact of austerity policies on weakening economies; and the particularly severe effects that flow on to the poorest households.
We therefore urge the troika (EU, European Centra Bank and IMF) to negotiate in good faith with the Greek government so that there is a cancellation of a large part of the debt and new terms of payment which support the rebuilding of a sustainable economy. This settlement should mark the beginning of a new EU-wide policy framework favouring pro-growth rather than deflationary policies (Report, 14 January).