European Economic and Monetary Union and the Historically Wealthy Hellas: Her Current Debt Crisis [2]

European Economic and Monetary Union
and the Historically Wealthy Hellas:
Her Current Debt Crisis [2]
by
Dr. Ioannis N. Kallianiotis
Economics/Finance Department
The Arthur J. Kania School of Management
University of Scranton
Scranton, PA 18510-4602
U.S.A.

Part 1– Μέρος Α´http://christianvivliografia.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/european-economic-and-monetary-union-and-the-historically-wealthy-hellas-her-current-debt-crisis

II. FROM THE TREATY OF ROME TO THE PRESENT ECONOMIC
AND MONETARY UNION

(i) The Development of the European Union

Following World War II, the idea of economic integration was promoted in Western Europe. Who were these people and what was their ultimate objective of this experiment are unknown.[1] The world is waiting to see the conclusion of this union of nations, peoples, cultures, dogmas, histories, economies, politics, and civilizations.[2] The majority of Europeans are very skeptical and anxious for the future of their continent and of their nations. In 1950, Jean Monnet convinced Premier Robert Schuman to support a plan for the integration of the coal and steel industries of France and West Germany.[3] Negotiations on the Schuman Plan led to the establishment in 1951 of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). The ECSC included France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The success of the ECSC helped advance an even bolder proposal developed by Monnet. In 1957,[4] the six members of the ECSC signed the Treaty of Rome establishing the European Economic Community (EEC), known as the Common Market. The members of this Common Market committed themselves to eliminate trade barriers and to promote free movement of capital and labor.

.     The rapid postwar economic growth of western Europe continued through the 1950’s and 1960’s, making it the longest period of economic progress uninterrupted by slumps or depressions since the origins of the modern industrial system. At the same time, the dream of a united Europe, which is as old as Charlemagne’s “Holy Roman Empire” appeared.[5] Napoleon’s French Empire encompassed almost all of continental Europe. Hitler tried to create a Festung Europe under Nazi denomination. All such efforts failed because they forced the nations to submit to the “union” (their authority). But sovereignty and nationhood were important values in the minds of Europeans and they opposed all proposals or attempts to infringe upon or in any way diminish their sovereignty. There is a big distinction between international and supranational organizations and the majority of people are against the supranational ones.[6] But in today’s “democracies”, no one is asking citizens to express their will. There is a political backwardness in our societies, imposed by the “dark powers” on all political parties.

.       Proposals for some kind of supranational organization in Europe have become increasingly frequent since 1945 and have been issued from ever more influential and suspicious sources. The proposals spring from unidentified and strange motives and they do not want to make these public because they are afraid of citizens’ reactions. What they maintain as motives for the public is political and economic. The political motive, manifested somewhat tenuously in the Council of Europe, is rooted in the belief that only through supranational organization can the threat of war between European powers be permanently eradicated. Some proponents of European political unity further believe that the compact nation-state of the past is now outmoded; if the nations of Europe are to resume their role in world affairs, they must be able to speak with one voice and have at their command resources and manpower comparable with those of superpowers.[7]

.      The economic motive rests upon the argument that larger markets (economies of scale) will promote greater specialization and increased competition, thus higher productivity and standards of living. But, countries have different value systems and work ethics, so they cannot be equalized. Unfortunately, nothing of these has happened. So far the cost of integration has exceeded the benefits for the Europeans. Greeks have lost their jobs, due to competition from the other country-members. Prices have increased because of the common market, goods are moving to markets with higher income and prices, and to attract them you have to pay the same high prices. Salaries are completely different among the members.  Finally, illegal immigrants, drug dealers, terrorists,[8] international mafia, every corrupted person, and every kind of criminality move freely from one nation to the other because borders have been abolished (ξέφραγο ἀμπέλι).

.        The Common Market treaty took effect on January 1, 1958 and on July 1, 1968 all tariffs between member nations were completely eliminated, several years earlier than the date originally foreseen. In 1961, Britain signified its willingness to enter the Common Market if certain conditions could be met, but in January 1963, president de Gaulle of France in effect vetoed Britain’s membership, an action he repeated in 1967 and 1969. The accession of Britain, Ireland, and Denmark took effect on January 1, 1973. Greece acceded to the Community on January 1, 1981, without a referendum,[9] and Spain and Portugal on January 1, 1986. On January 1, 1995, the EU-12 became EU-15, with the accession of Austria, Finland, and Sweden.[10] On May 1, 2004, ten new members joined the Union: Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus, and Malta. Lately, on January 1, 2007, Romania and Bulgaria became EU members, reaching the implausible number of EU-27. So far the results are that the sovereign nation has disappeared from Europe and many other ordeals are following.

.        A justifiable question to everyone is the following. What is this organization that is called the European Union (EU)? It is a combination (mixture, unwilling participation, and authoritarian entity) of twenty seven (27) European countries, for which have been decided   (mostly, without the consensus of their citizens) that their future “well-being” will be enhanced by this Union (the EU knows better than the individual nation-state and its citizens). These member-nations are gradually evolving from independent sovereign states to a malevolent federation of “the United States of Europe” and with a prospect to be the first states of the inhumane “global government”. This process of asphyxiating integration is both economic (monetary) and mostly political (regulatory and constitutional). The fundamental forces behind this artificial union are political (rules, laws, directives, controls, standardizations, requirements, restraints, institutions, constitution, and any kind of confinements of national public policies, sovereignty, and individual freedoms), covered under an economic mantle, that is why they are so controversial, but nation-states and their citizens have lost control of their own governance and they are leaded blindly without any opposition, except some reactions that we saw lately (the three negative votes against the European constitution by France, Holland, and Ireland). Greek leaders have never allowed any referendum for their citizens. Of course, as moral social scientists, we have the obligation to warn the decision-makers in EU to avoid the mistakes of the past and their own current mistakes, due to their bad and bureaucratic “advisors” (the pressure from abroad or any other powers behind them)[11] who know no history, no culture, no peculiarities, no indigenous values, and no uniqueness of a nation, like Hellas and her people.

(ii) The Dreadful Economic and Monetary Union

.        Article II of the Maastricht Treaty summarizes the economic goals of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) as follows: “The Community shall have as its task, by establishing a common market and an economic and monetary union and by implementing the common policies or activities referred to in …, to promote throughout the Community [1] a harmonious and balanced development of economic activities, [2] sustainable and non-inflationary growth respecting the environment, [3] a high degree of convergence of economic performance, [4] a high level of employment and of social protection, [5] the raising of the standard of living and quality of life, and [6] economic and social cohesion and [7] solidarity among Member States.” So far, after 19 years, none of the above objectives of this treaty have been satisfied. It was obvious and it has been proven, during the current debt crises that the EU and mainly, the EMU has failed and has carried away to its failure the defenseless European citizens and their nations, as the historically value-wealthy Hellas.

.        The Maastricht Treaty was signed in February 1992, but it, then, had to be ratified by all the independent member nations. This process went “well” because the state governments did not hold a referendum for ratification of the treaty by their citizens.[12] Denmark voted “no” on June 2, 1992 in a referendum and then the following day France announced that it would hold a referendum. Eleven years later, on September 14, 2003, Sweden had a referendum and 56.2% said “no” to the EMU. For this monetary union to begin on January 1, 1999, prior to 1999 (on December 31, 1997), a majority of countries should have met the five criteria (gross government debt/GDP, budget deficit/GDP, 10-year government bond yield, inflation rate, and ERM member) established by the Maastricht Treaty. Nevertheless, in 1999, according to the treaty, EMU would commence for those countries, which had converged (however it looked, they were only very few, actually, Luxembourg and France), but eleven of them had been confirmed by the European Commission. The twelfth country (Greece) joined a little later in 2001.[13] The thirteenth one (Slovenia) became an EMU member on January 1, 2007; the fourteenth and fifteenth (Cyprus and Malta) on January 1, 2008; the sixteenth (Slovakia) on January 1, 2009; and the seventeenth one (Estonia) on January 1, 2011.

III. THE LATEST DEBT CRISIS

to be continued 


[1] As the time is passing, this integration reveals itself; it is actually the predecessor of the globalization (=the global slavery).

[2] Does this remind the Biblical Babel or not? With all these confusions of languages and cultures this “construction” would have no good future.

[3] See, Kallianiotis (2011).

[4] On March 25, 1957, two treaties were signed in Rome that gave birth to the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom): the Treaties of Rome. These Treaties were ratified by National Parliaments over the following months and came into force on January 1, 1958. (http://www.historiasiglo20.org/europe/traroma.htm ).

[5] Charlemagne’s empire closely approximated the boundaries of the founding members of the EEC.

[6] International organizations depend upon the voluntary cooperation of their members and have no direct power of coercion. On the other hand, supranational organizations require their members to surrender at least a position of sovereignty and can compel compliance with their mandates; concealed submission.

[7] See, Blum, Cameron, and Barnes (1970, p. 1032).

[8] A French court sentenced nine men to prison for belonging to an Islamist group accused of plotting bombings. (The Wall Street Journal, October 24, 2008, p. A1).

[9] Even though that the charlatan Andreas Papandreou was elected because of his promises to the voters: “out of NATO” and “out of the EU”, he signed the accession of Greece to the EEC. What a deception!

[10] The people of Norway voted against membership to the Union and if there were referenda in other countries, the EU would have less than half of its current members.

[11] The U.S. was pressing EU to accept Turkey as a member and to give to it a date of starting acceptance negotiations, which took place during the December 17, 2004, summit meeting of EU leaders in Brussels. Today, this pressure has become worse.

[12] But, as we see every day in EU country-members, demonstrations and burnings of the EU=s flag are going on, showing citizens= opposition to this artificial monetary-political union.

[13] This was the goal of Kostas Semitis and it was met with the help of Goldman Sachs, which cost to Greek taxpayers only $400 million.

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