The dissolution of the European societies Read more >>>
Acte 14: France revolt: Several demonstrators seriously wounded in Rouen (Updated 18:30) Read more >>>
The single most important event in Europe: the revolt of the French people continues. (Update 16:15 ) Read more >>>
Convictions create modern religions and do away with science Read more >>>
Act XII, the revolution in France continues. (Update 20:30) Read more >>>
This affair is a huge scandal. It involves the current president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and his son Michał. Donald Tusk presents himself as a politician who cares very much about the rule of law in Poland. When he was Poland’s prime minister, however, he ignored information given to him by the Chief of the Internal Security Agency and the President of the National Bank of Poland. They both warned him that his son was involved in a Ponzi scheme called Amber Gold.
The case is being investigated by the Polish government, which set up a special Inquiry Committee. Of course, Donald Tusk is denying all the accusations, but at the same time he is criticizing Warsaw for failing to enforce democracy and the rule of law. The question is whether Donald Tusk is not acting in self-defence and aiming at toppling the government, which set up the Inquiry Committee on the Amber Gold.
Poland’s former prime minister and currently the president of the European Council is still the spiritual leader of the political opposition in his own country and is doing his best to earn much respect in Brussels. People in Poland think he is Angela Merkel’s man, which is why he was promoted so high in the EU structures. The average Western European probably believes that Donald Tusk has been given this high-ranking post as a reward for his contribution to establishing the rule of law in Poland. The average Western European probably does not know that Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform party experienced a resounding defeat in the parliamentary election just a few months after his transfer to Brussels. The Polish people say that the promotion of the Polish prime minister may have been a helping hand extended to him by Angela Merkel, who thus paid him for his obedience and saved him from the verdict of the voters and, (who knows?) the verdict of the court of law (see below).
Currently, Donald Tusk seems to be taking steps against his own country in retaliation for the fact that the new government has set up a committee to investigate his and his son’s participation in the largest fraud of the recent years. Contrarily to his pledge of impartiality and neutrality towards all 28 member states,” Donald Tusk seizes every opportunity to attack and rebuke Poland. In 2016/2017, when for almost two months the Polish parliament was occupied by the opposition, Tusk threatened Poland with legal consequences for the 2017 budget that had been passed allegedly in violation of the regulations. Poland’s former prime minister put a pressure on the Polish authorities exactly at the time when the government’s opponents held protests in Warsaw, which means that Donald Tusk for all practical purposes was supporting an attempted coup d’etat and did his best to create bad press in the West for his own country.
David Cameron had called the UK referendum on the EU membership, hoping to get rid of the most Eurosceptic wing of his party and never expecting to lose, he ended up losing referendum and his job. Theresa May, comfortable in a 20+ percentage points lead in polls, called a snap election to have a stronger parliamentary support for her Brexit deal, she ended up without sufficient numbers at all.
If someone needed evidence that mainstream parties are detached from reality, it’s just there, one spectacular debacle after the other. After repeated terrorist attacks by Muslims in the United Kingdom, the best she could come up with was “internet censorship’’;everyone should have their freedoms restricted because the UK government is unable to fix a problem resulting from decades of open borders policies, unwilling to break ties with countries like Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that secret services know it sponsors terrorism,and negligence considering that attackers are often known to authorities for their views and previous crimes.
Unsurprisingly, the 20+ points lead evaporated within less than 2 months; the only reason Conservatives still come out as the biggest party is the disappearance of UKIP, former Conservative breakouts themselves in 1993, which having achieved their main goal, make the UK leave the European Union, have lost much of their purpose, their charismatic leader Nigel Farage and the funding; with former UKIP voters (12% of the total in 2015) switching to Conservatives, Theresa May managed to obtain more votes than her opponents, but not enough to secure the 326 seats majority needed in the lower chamber of the British Parliament.
What’s next? The last experience of the “hung government’’ saw a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, but Liberal Democrats are against Brexit and won’t likely work with Conservatives needing a majority specifically about that issue. The “Tories’’ might have to call for another election and in that case victory is everything but assured. May seems to have secured the support of the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (10 seats, added to her 318) which has a more left leaning economic platform.
The European Commission has resorted to STS’s with which it intends to effectively cope with the financial crisis. Yet, on closer analysis STS’s are likely to spark off another crisis.
What’s the mechanism? Banks grant credits and then they sell them on the general market as securities. In this way they avoid having bad credits on their hands while these are foisted on other entities. What do the banks do with the financial means they earn in this way? Well, they turn them into more credits and so the bubble becomes larger and larger. The securities created from the sale of credits are referred to as securitization; their American counterparts were the root cause of the 2008 financial crisis. Still, the European Commission wishes to make use of securitization, only this time is is supposed to be safe, simple, transparent, standardized; hence the abbreviation STS. The Commission says they will make it easier for small and medium businesses to gain financial resources and simultaneously will reduce the systemic risk (like bad credit). The risk, however, is only transferred from banks to other financial institutions. This will make it more difficult the supervisory institutions to fulfil their duties, since such securities are not open to the public nor is it easy to gather information which of the financial entities is running up excessive debt. It may turn out that the said transparency will only remain in words.
Consider how Hollande’s victory was hailed in 2012 by the media: a man of change,destiny, a new start,for Europe and the return of growth.
The reality turned out not to be even remotely close to the promises: stagnating economy, no wages growth, rising unemployment and debt, both public and private.
Emmanuel Macron was the co-protagonist of the economic decline of France as Minister of the Economy under Hollande, yet 65% of the French voters opted to give the former a second run, endowing him as President with more powers, blaming entirely the latter, who ended the presidency with an abysmal approval rate of 4%,
Just like Hollande’s promise to reform the European Union was the “eurobond”,Macron’s goal is the “fiscal union”.Since Hollande was met with a deadly “nein” from Merkel and the Bundesbank, we see no reason why Macron could be more successful: while France is the second biggest economy of the Eurozone and thus its size and importance could provide sufficient leverage in negotiations, Hollande’s unwillingness to threaten to leave the negotiation table proved to be his downfall. Similarly, Macron can only be successful in his reform bid when he is ready to announce to dump the failing EU project if he can’t have it his way. As it is, his “Europe first” approach leaves no room for that, ensuring a failure equal to that of his predecessor.
The “fiscal union’’ is Macron’s only major noteworthy item on an otherwise incredibly vague political and
economic program. Hollande’s presidency was plagued with regular attacks by Islamist terrorists, yet Macron did not touch the topic during his political campaign, with the exception of the brush-off “there’s no such thing as French culture’’.
In the past few weeks, the transport of migrants from the African shores has become a case of national importance for Italy, and is now under investigation from the prosecutor of Catania, who recently testified to the Defence Committee of the Italian Senate and will meet soon with the Superior Council of the Magistrates.
Harsh criticism of the activities of the NGOs has come from opposition parties Forza Italia, Lega Nord and even Movimento 5 Stelle , normally more neutral on immigration issues, while Prime Minister Gentiloni has opted to let the judicial system run its course.
Yet, a new element will further exacerbate the situation; George Soros, a billionaire who is incredibly active politically on both sides of the Atlantic,met in secrecy with Prime Minister Gentiloni, less than a week after the latter had commented on the NGOs activities. The meeting was not listed on the website of the Italian government as official and its timing is at the very least suspicious.
Michele Valentini was the perfect nobody from nowhere. Even in his sleepy little town of Tarcento, tucked away in the north-eastern corner of Italy not far from the Slovenian border, anyone hardly remembers him. Quiet and mild-mannered, thirty-years-old Michele was the kind of person you would not expect to do anything that would bring the spotlight on him.
But he did, last February. He took his own life, leaving behind a long letter to his parents in which he explains the reasons for his choice of saying farewell to a society which he could no longer bear to live in.
Michele Valentini’s malaise was the infectious disease common to millions of other young – and not so young – Italians: the inability – better, the impossibility – of landing a decent, steady job. It can be officially defined as quiet desperation.
The letter was a final, desperate j’accuse towards society in general and the current Italian government in particular, since Michele chose to end his letter with a sardonic remark specifically directed at the current Italian Minister of Labour and Social Policies Giuliano Poletti.
Although the French society is based on laïcité, a full separation of state and church, Islamic attacks in France and the radicalization of the highly unemployable Islamic youth have prompted President François Hollande to call for an “Islam of France”,which aims at appealing to its believers to incorporate the revolutionary values on which the French society is based of liberté, égalité, fraternité into their religious faith.
The secular faith that all men are created equal is the bedrock of the thinking of the Western establishment and one of the postulates all Western sociology is founded on. This conviction is not only upheld by the so-called “left”, but it has become the cornerstone of Western economic theories. Present-day investors do not see ethnicity, culture, religion or race as a key factor in a country’s economic growth and progress. Rather, they believe that people are clean slates, that external factors alone contribute to their advancement and, such is the narrative, if countries open up their borders, allow free trade and implement the rule of law, then their populations pick up required skills, adopt Western solutions and with the aid of education set themselves on the path of development.
Vallombrosa is a unique place in Tuscany. Its founder, Saint Giovanni Gualberto, a Benedictine monk, chose this secluded place in the mountains 40 km east of Florence to lead a hermit-like existence, right after the year 1000, and with a restricted group of monks started his own monastic order, the Vallombrosani.
John Milton among many other travellers – found inspiration in Vallombrosa while traveling across Italy in 1638, and a marble inscription reminds tourists that here Milton put into writing his Paradise Lost. Vallombrosa is not a place for crowds; rather a place where to seek meditation and inspiration.
To me Vallombrosa represents memories from my childhood. It could be called a piece of my personal heimat, if you wish. Back in the 60’s, when a car was still a far-flung luxury for many Italian families of the working class, we would take the Sunday morning bus from the train station in Florence with some frugal lunch, and we were back in the city with the same bus in time for dinner. For me, as a child, that was the highlight of the week – or the month – as it was all that we could afford at the time as a holiday.
It was just 2011 when the Finnish government, one of Greece’s many creditors, demanded that Athens put one of its national symbols, the Parthenon, as collateral for the rescue loans package.
Fast forward to 2015: while the European Union leaders humiliate the Greek democracy by imposing even harsher austerity measures than the ones previously rejected in a referendum, even despite the fact that the IMF admitted having miscalculated the Keynesian multiplier for Greece and thus completely underestimated the catastrophic consequences of austerity,Finland is no longer part of the group of “virtuous countries”: unlike Greece, its public finances are fine, however the sources of its economic strength, tech colossus Nokia is in a deep crisis,unable to keep up in innovation with its competitors, Apple and Samsung. The once national pride of the Finns, accounting at its peak for 20% of the Finnish exports,will end up being overtaken by foreigners (Microsoft). To worsen the conditions of the Finish economy, the EU leaders opted for a trade war against one of Finland’s main trade partners, its neighbor Russia, over the Ukraine crisis.
Almost 1000 years ago, Turkish tribes started settling in Anatolia, beginning the formation of the Turkish state. How did it happen? Many jump to quick conclusions and simplify the matter pointing to the Byzantine defeat at Manzikert in 1071. The reality is different: in the aftermath of the battle, Emperor Romanos Diogenes reached a peace agreement under which the Turkish Seljuk sultan was handsomely rewarded with money while the Byzantine Empire did not suffer territorial loss. The Byzantine elite in Constantinople, however, decided to unseat Romanos and not to adhere to the agreement. In the subsequent squabble over the throne, one of the competing factions would hire a relative of the Turkish sultan, Suleiman to increase its chances to seize the throne. As the Byzantine elite rushed to Constantinople, Suleiman was left with his troops to control one of the biggest Byzantine cities of Anatolia, Nicaea. The resulting Sultanate of Rum, the first presence of the Turkish people in Anatolia, was born not by conquest, but by the shortsightedness of the Byzantine ruling class.
The European Union is a project of the elites. Members of these elites who either are members of the European Parliament or hold posts in the commissions are also members of their respective political parties, which means that to all intents and purposes the EU is pursuing policies that those parties advocate and endorse. Never mind voters, never mind citizens who show up at referendums and defy the party line, which is by the way why, James Madison, one of the founding fathers of the American Constitution, said that the minority of the opulent must be protected against the majority.
The European elites have long stopped to respond to the fears and hopes of the people, which resulted in the emergence of new political parties and movements that address these fears and inspire many citizens of the Old Continent with a hope that it is still possible to have a new, healthy establishment. The forthcoming elections in France, Italy and the Netherlands may decide whether such politicians as Fillon, Macron, Grillo or Wilders, who decisively oppose the current establishment, will hold positions of power. The question arises whether they are as reliable and trustworthy as they would like to be perceived or they only wish to pull wool over our eyes and will not be all that different than their neoconservative and liberal predecessors.
Due to numerous scandals, cronyism, unfair business deals, empty promises, thousands of migrants in the streets and refugee camps people began to mistrust the likes of Berlusconi or Sarkozy. Recently, new actors have appeared on the political stage who immediately have been labelled as extreme right or left, populist, xenophobic and anti-European. People in Italy and France, however, do not let themselves be duped with such misnomers anymore and prefer now to turn their attention to such politicians as Marine Le Pen or Beppe Grillo, who at least represent the common man’s feelings and hopes. Yet, even if the National Front and the Five-Star Movement abide by their election promises, the leaders of these parties do not seem so decent as their voters wish they were.