A good example of neoliberal “rationalism”
by system failure
This was probably the final conclusion that came from the debate for the presidency of the EU at the end through the question from the moderator Monica Maggioni. The answer by the head of the European Greens, Ska Keller, who seems to have a special sensitivity on this matter, was also quite revealing.
Keller said clearly that the lobbies in EU are so deeply involved in various decisions that there are times when their representatives forget to remove the headlines with the names of the companies on the amendments in Brussels' corridors! She also said that lobbies spend millions in order to influence lawmakers and commissioners. This is the picture of Europe today, further details are obviously unnecessary.
For the rest, the debate was something that more or less someone should expect. Even the positions of the candidates were signaling that the people who organized this debate, knew from the start what the candidates would say according to their political agenda.
Starting from the left of the panel, Alexis Tsipras, representative of the European Left, most intensively criticized the destructive policies of the European neoliberal economic empire. He made straight questions to Juncker related to the austerity policies, the recent revelations for the backstage of the Greek crisis, the substitution of the PMs in Greece and Italy with the banking puppets Papadimos and Monti, and, the dark role of banks and their enormous responsibilities.
Tsipras didn't receive any substantial answer, as expected, but it seems that he gained popularity with his straight speech. He also correctly criticized the new plan for the banks, the bail-in - which Verhofstadt defended with passion - since those who will be called to pay for the banking crises first, are the depositors: http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2013/07/why-banksters-laugh-with-recent-ecofins.html
Next to Tsipras was Ska Keller. She clearly stood against the transatlantic agreement between EU-US (in contrast with Verhofstadt who defended it warmly). She also said that Europe should end banking speculation. She stood against Putin and the annexation of Crimea, claiming that Europe should stop selling weapons to Russia and that should stop depend on Russia for energy supply. Her most successful statement, of course, was that concerning the lobbies in Brussels.
In the middle of the panel, the head of the European Socialists and current president of the European parliament, Martin Schulz, spoke generally, using a neutral rhetoric, saying for example that we need a combination of fiscal discipline and development-fighting tax fraud. This kind of rhetoric is frequently used by Socialists in Europe, although due to their long presence in power, they completely serve lobbies and vote for laws to serve specific interests against the majority, mostly in periods of crises.
At the right of Martin Schulz, Jean-Claude Juncker, from the European People's Party, who strongly supports the neoliberal agenda, he defended fiscal discipline in constant denial concerning the destructive policies in Greece and European South. He stated openly that, despite that corruption must be dealt in member-states and in European level, no one can forbid specific teams to act according to their interests! Someone should tell Juncker that these things are going together. When you allow specific groups (mainly banking lobbies) to act free and impose their interests to European organizations, then you will get corruption.
He also supported that Europe does not invest enough because the budgets of the countries do not allow this, due to the high debts and deficits. Someone should also tell him that, the Greek debt and deficit are in worse position than in 2010, when Greece was excluded from markets, and this is due to the policies as well as the banks' bailout with billions - according to recent data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2014/04/greece-deficit-at-127-and-public-debt.html) - which he supported.
Finally, at the right edge of the panel, next to Juncker, Guy Verhofstadt, from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party, he appeared as the purest representative of the neoliberal Right, as he supported with passion the European completion and unified market by purely economic terms in favor of the big companies. In essence, he defended monopolies and the transatlantic trade agreement between the EU and US. Like Juncker, he admitted that, no one can avoid lobbyists!
He insisted too on fiscal discipline and he said that the political parties in Greece were supported by the banks because they were under the Greek Public control. It seems that he doesn't know very well the Greek situation as even the Bank of Greece is not under the Greek Public control. Unless that he made such a shallow statement in order to hide the fact that private banks and local big businesses in Greece were doing "business" with the Greek political class of the past decades, in order to blame the "bad" Greek Public, which is responsible for all this situation in Greece, a position promoted by the neoliberal propaganda since the beginning of the current crisis.
He stood clearly against Putin and read a statement from the famous former chess player, Garry Kasparov, in which Kasparov called Putin a dictator, but as expected, he didn't say a word for the support of neo-nazis in Ukraine by the EU/US.
An additional interesting fact from the debate was that the two candidates at the left of the panel, Tsipras and Keller, were the youngest and those who spoke with passion against interests, banks' speculation and supported a Europe of solidarity putting people at the center of the political decisions, while at the right of the panel, the older Juncker and Verhofstadt, appeared more conservative and "rationalists", defending "underground" the neoliberal agenda. However, no one from the panel dared to speak about the support of neo-nazis in Ukraine and to point the huge hypocrisy of the West which supposedly deeply "concerns" about the rise of the fascism.
The whole debate here: