NATO, QE, Siriza, the Ukraine, Israel: Highways towards « tomorrow’s world » on the horizon

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The terrible 2014 Ukrainian crisis should be understood as an absolute limit beyond which the “world before” disappears no matter what. It will either disappear in the chaos and radicalization of the system which, in doing so, will cease to be itself, or it will disappear by opening up to the new characteristics of the “world afterwards”… the whole question can simply be summarized as this: war or peace? But in any case, the world-before is over!

And the fact is that as soon as the dust of battle settles a little, we are finally beginning to see the landscape of tomorrow’s world in the distance and the paths leading to it, sometimes again demonstrating the appearance of real highways. Even if our team remains very concerned about the obstacles which may arise on the way to these paths, we believe that the gradual revelation of the future landscape is something good. Indeed, the great dramas of history often happen when people or systems see no way out of their difficulties.

Thus, in this issue, at risk of seeming seriously naive, our team has decided to focus on these parts of the future appearing on the horizon. The object of political anticipation is also to downplay the future. The fight in which we are engaged and of which the Ukrainian crisis is the most emblematic concrete expression, only opposes the forces wishing to commit themselves to these paths and those wishing to prevent them.

Our team has chosen to make the part of this GEAB issue devoted to the analysis of Syriza’s victory in the Greek Parliamentary elections available to the public.

Syriza: Catalyst for Europe’s politico-institutional reform

We have already mentioned the great change which Juncker’s arrival at the head of a Commission which he himself calls that of “the last chance” means[1], as he clearly expressed the idea that if the institution failed to connect with European citizens (or “democratize”), it is the whole of the European construction project as intended by the founding fathers[2] which will fail.

Now combined with this political will at the highest European structure, is that resulting from the election of a non-institutional party in Greece, Syriza[3], on the basis of a clear mandate: put European institutions at the service of Greek citizens’ interests, interests the extent of which we can already see overlap those of citizens of all the countries facing austerity, Spain and Portugal primarily, but well beyond. The feeling of a lack of control of the tools to resolve the crisis by all Eurozone citizens is slowly seeing the light of day and Tsipras clearly represents a political hope for whole sections of citizens throughout the Eurozone[4].

Syriza’s arrival, like a dog in a game of skittles, in the cozy atmosphere of the European politico-institutional system is a real catalyst for reform. And the fact is that if the community system feared Tsipras’ election (with, for example, Merkel’s threats to exclude Greece from the Eurozone[5]), one can only be surprised at the welcome currently reserved for him[6]. In fact, Tsipras seems capable of triggering a change that all the categories of European players are now expecting:

. In spring 2014, Jean-Claude Juncker’s campaign programme included a proposal on the need to “replace the troika with a more legitimate democratic structure and more accountable for its acts, based around the European institutions, with greater parliamentary control, both at European as well as national level”. But would it have happened at the top of the European Commission? Probably not. Therefore, Tsipras comes as a saviour, finally making reform of the mechanism of the crisis’ management and Eurozone governance possible[7].

. We have talked about Draghi and his covered call for a mandate reconnected to the reality of the crisis rather than the application of obsolete Treaties.

. The major European bureaucratic malfunctioning of recent months, judged to be the result of the limits reached by the so-called “intergovernmental” method[8], equally puts civil servants in agreement with Tsipras, likely to give more political direction to their institutional structure.

. The limits also reached by a financial system gorged on liquidity but incapable of injecting it into an economy at a standstill, allowing it to clearly see the opportunity personified by Tsipras to revive public investment which it contributed itself to stopping professing the ultra-liberalism[9].

. National politics stuck in technocratic governments or national union for the last six years, are back to life as we have seen with Renzi’s second political “coup d’état”, putting an end to the alliance with Berlusconi by reinforcing his political group with the appointment of a socialist head of state[10].

. And, of course, citizens who are finally hearing talk of a Europe which debates, thinks and which is looking for solutions which speak an understandable language this time instead of the incessant technocratic-financial rot to which they have been entitled until now.

The only problem is, once again, the media. Not that they are so buoyed up as one might believe against Syriza, but rather because they have a very limited understanding of the size of the stakes in the current negotiations between Greece and the rest of the Eurozone and the complexity of the reform project developing between all these players (ECB, Eurozone, Greece, European Commission, national governments).

The only reading to which we are entitled is to define if what happens brings us closer or distances us from a Eurozone rupture. But, we repeat once again: there will be no Eurozone rupture! No Grexit (nor Brexit as well probably)[11]): we are all embarked in a boat which can go far from the moment that we give ourselves the means to occupy the cockpit. History hasn’t been given a “rewind” button in which only ideologues and demagogues try to make their flock believe: the boat has left the bank and those who disembark will drown and capsize the rest[12].

The process triggered by Tsipras is nothing less than a complete change in the way the Eurozone operates. The troika system (IMF, ECB, Commission) has been revoked; Tsipras insists on negotiating with the Eurozone’s elected representatives[13]; a new more legitimate governance mechanism of the Eurozone will have to be invented, in addition to solutions to the Greek crisis. Such aims are unlikely to be reached in a jiffy, no more than peace in the Ukraine and between Europe and Russia. We are witnessing the slow and painful birth of Europe and the world of tomorrow, with all the risks that a birth without medical help (absent all anticipation) entails.

The main obstacles to negotiations are basically as follows: the ECB, which clearly has no mandate to agree to a single state’s request and therefore is waiting for a collective decision by the whole Eurozone; and Germany which is losing its domination – all relative by the way – that it had of the Eurozone (in the knowledge that this dominant position embarrasses it more than anything else and that it will abandon it with pleasure as soon as the next mechanism puts its mind at rest); the structural incapacity of the current politico-institutional straitjacket for the slightest reform (which requires going right up to rupture); the influence of countless hidden agendas which will inevitably lose influence in the framework of the current system placed under political control[14].

What concerns the Germans, just like the French as a recent opinion poll proved[15], and much more than Merkel imagines, they are certainly easy to convince of the putting in place of a solidarity system to exit Greece from the rut, aware as they are that the resolution of the Greek crisis wouldn’t only be good news for the Greeks. Moreover it’s this Eurozone here which has to be invented: a real Euroland based on solidarity and win-win reasoning.

It is something which hasn’t been discussed much in Syriza’s victory: here where our media passes its time analyzing the economic problems experienced by the Eurozone these last six years will raise political extremism, xenophobia, the rejection of Europe and democracy, we are seeing with Syriza or Podemos, for example, that European public opinion is holding up remarkably well under the shock, refusing as far as possible to opt for radical solutions[16] and, on the other hand, beating a path to anything which seems to be a sure alternative, but reasonable above all. Our team gives credit for this great collective reliability of the European people to the ideological opening up due to the internet and “direct” access to information. Politicians or the media can no longer take interconnected public opinion hostage[17], a fact which we will henceforth take into account in our anticipations… To read more, subscribe now and have access to the entire bulletin.


[1] Source : Euractiv, 22/10/2014

[2] Being, according to the community of States’ principles, the objectives of peace and shared prosperity, and through democratic governance.

[3] Source : BBC, 25/01/2015

[4] Source : Euractiv, 04/02/2015

[5] Source : Le Figaro, 04/01/2015

[6] 2014 taught caution to our team which now knows that good news causes sudden breakouts of bad news. As regards Syriza, in this issue we are concentrating on the potential to exit the crisis that its election conveys but we are completely clear about the attempts that certain obscure interests or bureaucratic reflexes could make to block the developments taking place. This ranges from the system’s inability to agree to Tsipras’ requests to the risks of attempts to destabilize the country. Source : Club Newropeans, 04/02/2015

[7] Source : Le Monde, 02/02/2015

[8] “We are being killed by intergovernmentalism” a Eurozone leader told us recently. The “intergovernmental” method refers to the decision-making system of the 28 on a rationale of national interests, as opposed to the “community method” which would put decision-making solely at European level, both methods hoping to economize on democracy, which would be to base the European decision-making system on the will of the European people.

[9] Thus the Bank of England referred to the necessity of exiting the austerity policy a few days after Tsipras’ election. Source : The Guardian, 28/01/2015

[10] Source : Bloomberg, 30/01/2015

[11] Here again, contrary to what the media understand, a UK referendum on an EU exit would end in a refusal (as the opinion polls have already shown) and any UK blackmail leverage over the EU will end. Source : EUObserver, 23/10/2014

[12] The prospect of leaving the Euro is a bargaining tool rather than anything else. When we see the extent to which the political, institutional and financial system lives in fear of any decision likely to cause a stock exchange fall, we can’t really imagine them excluding one of its members! The good news is that they will therefore have to reach an agreement.

[13] Source : BBC, 30/01/2015

[14] ON this last aspect, we already remarked that a dysfinctional institutional system cannot even serve lobbies. The stake thus become common to relaunch the machine.

[15] “Only 15% of respondents were in favour of keeping the current Greek debt and repayment schedule”. Source : Les Echos, 04/02/2015

[16] Apart from the inevitable minorities and the effects linked to the absence of an alternative between the institutional and extremist parties… as in France or England, for example.

[17] Also seen in the Western media coverage of the Ukrainian crisis, not at all objective and extremely warlike, which has left people septic call at the very least