Goodbye Democracy – Hello Austerity!

I believe Michael Martens at Frankfurter Allgemeine puts the pin where it belongs in a commentary in today’s online edition of the German paper. He concludes that the Greek government has been stripped of its sovereignty and the elected representatives can no longer take meaningful decisions.

“The people of Greece can vote all they want, but they can’t really change anything.”

Michael Martens

“For the foreseeable future Greece will only be a limited democracy,” the German commentator writes. According to Mr. Martens, the Greek government has been stripped of its sovereignty and the elected representatives can no longer take meaningful decisions. Instead they execute what the EU and the IMF tells them to do.

Mr. Martens writes specific about Greece, but the point he is making may soon be valid for several other EU nations.

Portugal and Ireland is already in the danger zone, Spain and Italy is due to follow.

And – in a worst case scenario – the whole European Union.

Here’s a few more quotes from Frankfurter Allgemeine:

“Greece will be for the foreseeable future only be a limited democracy. The people of Greece can vote all they want, but they can’t really change anything. But it is not only the elected politicians who are to blame.”

“Greece’s Deputy Prime Minister Pangalos, had the courage recently to issue a taboo statement… He pointed to the complicity in a political system in which citizens in exchange for votes were to be public servants. The voters would have sold their votes, and are therefore partly responsible, Pangalos dared to say. The consequences of this example should actually be a deterrent for potential imitators  – if  one believe that democracies can be learned in time.”

Michael Martens also challenge the common view amongst economists that the bailouts may lead to moral hazard and irresponsible lending by other governments, knowing that they will be bailed out if they fail to pay back their loans.

“In fact, the Greek example may already have developed the opposite effect,” he points out.

“No prime minister will want to pay the prize that prime minister Papandreou currently has to pay.”

“The Greek government has, to a far greater extent than a member of the common European Union, and necessary, give up sovereignty.”

“For months, the elected representatives of the Greeks can not make more or less crucial independent decisions.”

And here we are: At the essence of a Greek tragedy.

(Google translation in English).

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2 responses to “Goodbye Democracy – Hello Austerity!

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