Greece = what happens when you force wholly disparate economies into a currency union in the name of an outdated political ideology. The EU has managed to stifle opposition by labelling its opponents as small-minded nationalists and huge swathes of the public have bought into this.
“Anti-EU? Must be a closet racist!” Nothing could be further from the truth, but it’s a nice, cheap jibe to stifle any debate – and it’s a jibe from people who are either deliberately or ignorantly supporting an organisation which demonstrably rides roughshod over the opinion of its constituent members’ electorates.
Those of us who oppose the now outdated EU institutions do so because we believe in that old-fashioned idea of decisions being made by accountable representatives as close to the electorate as possible: not by unelected professional politicians in Brussels. We believe in strength in diversity… not in the implementation of an enforced pan-European identity which none of its national populations actually want.
In an effort to rush towards political union, the EU has forced currency union on many of its member states – a policy embraced by political classes across the continent – and across the traditional left/right political divide. The traditional Left sees its destiny in a centralised United States of Europe (the lie of subsidiarity has long been exposed) and the Right sees things in terms of business interests.
Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain’s peoples are suffering the fallout of this agenda of the political classes, which has been bought, hook, line, and sinker, by many supposed intellectuals and liberals (a betrayal of those terms, if ever there was one), who have merely shown themselves to be incapable of independent thought.
I completely understand the theory behind the European Union, including full federalism. As a former pro-EU federalist (when the EU comprised 12 nations, all of which at least had a veto, and wide reform was promised) I used to believe in it myself. The reality is that it’s unrealistic in a continent which remains culturally and economically disparate, and, unless you’re one of those obnoxious and ignorant types who believes in enforcing the will of the minority over the European people ‘for their own good’, it’s obvious that most ordinary people don’t want it.
Yes, we want to be on good terms with our European neighbours and even agree to freedom of movement of goods, services, and people across borders (even Switzerland, not an EU member, has signed up for this), but most of us would still like to have some democratic right to remove those who determine our laws and run our economies, if it’s not too much to ask.
Poor Greek people… poor German taxpayers.