Europe

Dismantling European democracy

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(To be published in Arabic for Arabi21)

Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister for the Syriza government, is quickly becoming the most dangerous man in Europe.  Why? Because he wants to democratize the EU, and because he is exposing how desperately it needs to be democratized.

 

Varoufakis resigned from the Syriza cabinet (under pressure), when he refused to accept the Austerity plan of the Troika and another massive tranche of new IMF loans that would have enslaved the Greek economy under an un-payable  burden of unprecedented debt.

 

But for five months, the radical Left-wing economist got an inside look at the power structure in Europe, the way decisions are made; and now he is energetically, and eloquently, sharing with the people of Europe what he saw. And it is shocking.

 

When Varoufakis first entered office, he attended a meeting of the Euro Group, which includes the finance ministers of all the EU countries that use the Euro.  The Euro Group is presided over by the Troika, which is comprised of representatives from the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the IMF.  Varoufakis addressed the ministers regarding the Austerity plan they had demanded for Greece, and which the Greek people had elected Syriza specifically to oppose.  He told them that the new government was willing to compromise with the Troika, but that they also had a responsibility to the electorate; to fulfill their promises to the Greek people, and to take steps to grow the domestic economy.  In short, he was saying that the Troika’s plan would have to be changed to reflect the will of the Greek population, and to serve the interests of revitalizing the economy.  Varoufakis was promptly interrupted by Wolfgang Schoible, the finance minister of Germany, who said, “Elections cannot be allowed to change the economic policy of Greece.”

 

The Troika presented Varoufakis with the IMF loan offer along with a comprehensive Austerity plan that would determine Greece’s economic policy for the next 20 years.  Christine Lagarde, the director of the IMF conceded to Varufakis that the structural adjustment program would not work, but that it was nevertheless necessary to accept it for his own political credibility, and to protect the Troika’s ‘investment of political capital’ in the effectiveness of Austerity.   Basically, the political power of the IMF to dictate economic policies that bankrupt nations must be upheld, no matter what.

 

Why?

 

That is an important question.  Schoible answered this in a private conversation with Varoufakis when he told him that none of the periphery countries, like Greece, can be allowed to challenge Austerity because the aim is to “take the Troika to Paris.”  In other words, they want to centralize and monopolize control over economic policy in even Europe’s most important economies; to dominate the entire continent, and in so doing, subvert any still existing democratic mechanisms.

 

It is telling that Varoufakis believes it would constitute enough of a revolutionary and democratizing action to simply demand that the closed meetings of the Euro Group be live streamed on the internet.  That is just how un-democratic the EU decision making process is: it could not safely take place in front of the public

 

All of this will come as a tremendous surprise to most of us in the Muslim world, since we imagine that Europe is a great center of democracy.  Varoufakis is tearing down that illusion for us, and for the people of Europe;  he is exposing the reality of private power and the anti-democratic nature of global capitalism today.  We would all be well advised to listen carefully to his message, and adapt our strategies for liberation according to the invaluable information he is giving us.

هستيريا لا يصدقها عقل                       Unbelievable hysteria …

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هناك الكثير من الأشياء يمكن أن تقال عن الهستيريا الأوروبية بشأن الجريمة المفترضة بين الأعداد الضئيلة لللاجئين الذين سُمح لهم بالدخول إلى بلدانهم، وأنا لا أعرف حتى من أين أبدأ..وأحد هذه الأشياء التي صعقتني هو عندما حذرت ڤيينا النساء من الخروج ليلا. والغريب أن هذا التحذير لم يُنشر بصيغة: “القادة المحلييون يهددون النساء بالبقاء في المنزل لأن النمسا تنزلق إلى الحكم البطريركي للقرون الوسطى” … كما كانت ستنشر لو أننا كنا نتحدث عن أفغانستان ..

ودعنا نكن صرحاء، ما يقرب من ثلث النساء في أوروبا يتعرضن للاغتصاب كل عام، وأكثر من ثلث النساء الألمانيات يتعرضن للإعتداء أو الإغتصاب، ونصف مجموع النساء في أوروبا يتعرضن للتحرش الجنسي في مكان العمل. نحن هنا لا نتحدث عن ثقافة تضع سلامة المرأة كأولوية قصوى، وعندما نرى أن حوالي 87٪ من المغتصبين الأوروبيين لا يتم محاكمتهم أبدا، فلابد أن يكون لنا عذرنا لو تصورنا أن هناك تسامح متساهل مع العنف الجنسي.

الهستيريا تحوي بداخلها شيئ من الخداع .. فهي فقط جريمة عندما تُرتكب من قبل شخص آخر غير الأوروبيين البيض..

بعد كل ذلك، أنتم الذين تجبرون المهاجرين أن يندمجوا في ثقافتكم. قد ترغبون في النظر فيما تدعوا له ثقافتكم فعلاً قبل أن تطلبوا من الآخرين الاقتداء بكم..

عدد اللاجئين المتهمين بسلوك إجرامي يساوي نسبة ضئيلة جداً بالنسبة لعددهم السكاني من عدد المواطنين الأوروبيين المتهمين بجرائم عنف بالنظر لعددهم السكاني.>

لو أتيحت الفرصة لمزيد من المسلمين لدخول أوروبا، فأنا أعدكم، أن عدد الجرائم للفرد سوف تقل بدون شك، وأن تدفق المهاجرين المسلمين في النهاية سيكون له تأثير حضاري على القارة.

There are so many things to say about the European hysteria regarding supposed criminality among the miniscule number of refugees that have been allowed into their countries, I don’t even know where to begin.One thing that struck me was when Vienna warned women not to go out at night. Curious that this was not reported as “local leaders threaten women to stay at home as Austria slides into medieval patriarchal rule”…as it would have been reported if we were talking about Afghanistan.

Another thing is, let’s be frank;  roughly one-third of women in Europe have been raped, more than a third of German women have been assaulted or raped;  half of all women in Europe are sexually harassed in the workplace.  We are not exactly talking about a culture that places women’s safety as a top priority.  And when about 87% of European rapists are never prosecuted,  one would be forgiven for thinking that there is a permissive tolerance for sexual violence.

The hysteria is a bit disingenuous.  Is it only a crime when is committed by someone other than White Europeans?  After all, you are the ones telling immigrants to assimilate to your culture. ..you might want to look at what your culture actually promotes before you demand others to follow your example.

The number of refugees guilty of criminal behaviour amounts to a much smaller percentage of their population than the number of native Europeans guilty of violent  crimes relative to their populations.  If they allow more Muslims into Europe, I promise you, the number of crimes per capita will undoubtedly decrease, not increase, and the influx of Muslim immigrants will ultimately have a civilizing effect on the continent.

حان الوقت لكي تندمج الأقليات العالمية                         Time for global minorities to assimilate

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التعددية الثقافية ليست خيارًا سياسيًا بالنسبة لأي دولة أوربية، وتلك حقيقة ديموغرافية!

واقع الأمر أن الأوروبيون لا يتوالدون، وأنهم على هذا المنوال منذ سنوات، لديهم عجز شديد في مواليد جدد يشاركون في أسواق العمل والمجتمعات الاستهلاكية التي بنيت عليها دولهم، وبالتالي فقبول اللاجئين لا يعد خيار بل هو مسألة بقاء.

التعددية الثقافية لم تفشل يومًا، فهي لا تقبل الفشل! أما الشيء الذي فشل حقًا فهو الاستيعاب والاندماج، وهنا أقصد فشل أوروبا في استيعاب ثقافة وقيم اللاجئين الذي هم في حاجة ماسة لهم.

فلا فرنسا ولا أي دولة أوروبية أخرى في موقف يسمع لهم بمطالبة الآخرين بالاندماج مع سكانهم الذي يتناقصون، بل إن المهاجرين هم الذين لديهم الحق في ممارسة تأثيرهم الثقافي حيث أن أعدادهم وقوتهم الاقتصادية ستسير في اتجاه الصعود.

وتذكروا أنه حتى لو كان المهاجرون قلة داخل أي دولة يذهبون إليها، فإنهم في النهاية ينتمون إلى ثقافات وشعوب تمثل أغلبية عالمية، ويعتبرون ركنا ركينًا فيها.

كيف تطلب من شخص هندي أن يندمج في أسلوب حياة إنجليزي في الوقت الذي تمثل فيه ثقافته كهندي سدس البشرية، في حين أنك لم تكلف نفسك حتى عناء الحفاظ على معدل مواليد أمتك الصغيرة؟

كيف تطلب من مسلم أن يكون “أكثر فرنسية” في حين أن فرنسا غير قادرة على تعمير نفسها بالمواليد بشكل يجعلها مجدية اقتصاديًا بينما المسلمون يمثلون تقريبا ثلث تعداد سكان الكوكب؟

أبدًا لا يمكن هذا! بل انتم المطلوب منكم الاندماج معنا، وظيفة مهاجرينا ليست أن يحافظوا لكم على ثقافتكم، ألا يكفيهم أنهم سيضمنون لكم بقاء اقتصادكم؟

Multiculturalism is not a policy option for any European state; it is the demographic reality.

Frankly, the Europeans are not procreating , and they have not been for too long. They have a deficit of babies to contribute to the workforce and consumer pools in their countries. The acceptance of immigrants is not a matter of choice, it is a matter of survival.

Multiculturalism has not failed,; it can’t. What may well have failed, however, is assimilation. The failure, that is, of Europe to assimilate to the culture and values of the immigrants they need so desperately.

Neither France nor any other European country is in a position to demand assimilation into their own decreasing populations; rather it is immigrants who have the right to exert cultural influence, as their numbers and economic power continue to grow.

And remember; even if immigrants are a minority within a country, they come from, and remain part of cultures and populations that represent the global majority.

How can you tell an Indian to assimilate to the English way of life, when his culture represents one-sixth of humanity and you have not even bothered to maintain the birthrate of your own little nation?

How can you tell a Muslim to try to be more French, while the French cannot populate their own country enough to keep it economically viable and the Muslims are almost a third of the population of the earth?

No. It is you who must assimilate to us. It is enough that immigrants ensure the survival of your economies, it is not their job to preserve your cultures for you as well