June 28, 2011

Towards a sovereign union On June 2 in Aachen, Jean-Claude Trichet, the President of the European Central Bank, announced that the EU should only have one finance minister. At the same time, he also called for the transformation of the EU into an unprecedented confederation of states with a common budgetary policy — a vision that amounts to a severe blow to national sovereignty. A “super-finance” ministry, with the power to veto certain public spending decisions and to control the budgetary policies and competitiveness of Europe’s member states, as well as an EU financial sector that is fully compliant with European rules: this would amount to establishing a system for the control of national budgets, at least for those countries that have adopted the euro. According to Trichet's proposal, those states would then become semi-independent, perhaps to the point where they only retained territorial autonomy. Nowhere in any dictionary of politics has such a state been defined. However, these proposals are not exactly new. In response to the Greek crisis, the plan is to make aid to the Athens government contingent upon strict supervision of the country’s finances by the supranational troika of experts from the European Commission, the ECB, and the IMF. This is something that has never been seen before in the EU. Certainly, Ireland and Portugal have been obliged to rein in their public spending, but it has yet to fall under external control. On the other hand, Greece, which has come under pressure for the mishandling of its financial affairs, is being forced to handover control of its budgetary policy to foreigners: yet another step in the loss of sovereignty which began when it joined the euro and relinquished control of its monetary policy.
Austerity Riots - A Glimpse Of America’s Future? Are the austerity protests and riots happening in Greece right now a glimpse of America’s future? The truth is that both nations are absolutely drowning in debt. It is just that the “day of reckoning” has already arrived for Greece but it has not arrived for the United States yet. Yes, there are some important differences between the situation in Greece and the situation in the U.S., but there are also some important similarities. Budget cuts and other austerity measures are being promoted by the political leaders of both countries. Greek citizens have reacted very negatively to the economic austerity programs that have been implemented in that nation. As budget cuts on the federal, state and local levels in the United States start to really become painful, will we eventually see the same kind of austerity riots in this country that we are currently seeing in Greece? There is a price to pay for living way, way beyond your means for decades. The citizens of Greece are now feeling that economic pain. In the United States, the pain of austerity is not being felt that severely yet. So exactly what are austerity measures? Well, in Greece they include tax increases, budget cuts and “privatization measures.” The Greek government is swamped under an unpayable debt load and without international assistance the Greek government will default. But all of that “international assistance” comes with strings. The EU and the IMF are insisting on the implementation of very strict austerity measures, and the Greek people are not thrilled about this.


I'm a watchman for Christ, looking on the horizon in expectation for the fulfillment of God's Word.

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