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Interview with Kenneth Clarke on Brexit - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Clarke: It's a very nasty climate out there. People are retreating into angry simplicities. Half the population is angry about politicians not getting on with it, they're not following the detail, they haven't a clue what the Irish backstop is, and they couldn't care less. They just want it to be over. The other half does follow quite fairly, intensely, more than usual. They are divided in angry remainers who are ever more ferociously for remaining and angry leavers who ever more ferociously feel they are being betrayed.
UK  EU  politics  Brexit  ClarkeKenneth  interview  DerSpiegel  ToryParty  withdrawalAgreement  compromise  backstop  ERG  nationalism  ThatcherMargaret  DelorsJacques  MaastrichtTreaty  Euro  CameronDavid  polarisation  Leave  Remain 
12 weeks ago by petej
Only a rupture with the EU will alter the failed status quo | Larry Elliott | Opinion | The Guardian
Brexit, the gilets jaunes protesters in France, the terrible pain inflicted on Greece and the support for the League/Five Star government in Italy all tell their own story. Europe is alive with political discontent that reflects the demand for deep and urgent reform, but the chances of getting it are less likely if the status quo prevails.

Why? Because the forces of conservatism are strong. Change comes about only when the pressure for it becomes too great to resist. The financial crisis provided one such opportunity to reform an economic system that for many people clearly wasn’t working; Brexit was a second. The left’s case for Brexit has always been based on the following notions: the current economic model is failing; socialism is needed to fix it; and the free-market ideology hardwired into the EU via the European Central Bank, judgments of the European court of justice and treaty changes will make that process all but impossible without a break with the status quo.

It is theoretically possible that in the event of a “Brexit in name only” or no Brexit at all, policymakers will push ahead with what’s needed in order to make a reality of the slogan “a reformed Britain in a reformed Europe”. Possible but not all that plausible, given that it would require breaking up the euro, more autonomy for individual countries to intervene in the running of their economies, and a simultaneous philosophical U-turn in the big member states.

Much more likely is that the pressure for change will dissipate and the real grievances of those who voted for Brexit will be quietly forgotten. The softer the Brexit, the more convinced the EU will be that it has been doing the right thing all along. Britain will not go up in flames, but there will still be consequences. Leave voters will feel they have been victims of an establishment stitch-up. The anger will not go away and will eventually resurface.

The risk is that the losers will be the biggest supporters of the EU – the liberal left. And the biggest winners will be the extreme right.
UK  EU  Brexit  TheLeft  Lexit  Leave  finance  crisis  economy  productivity  ECB  Euro  reform  farRight  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=ElliottLarry 
january 2019 by petej
Financial Globalisation Has Been a Disaster. Brexit Gives Us a Chance to Resist It | Novara Media
The left was right to campaign against leaving the EU in 2016. Based on the tenor of the campaign, it was clear the Leave campaign would embolden the xenophobes and nationalists that exist across the class spectrum in the UK. This prediction was proven chillingly correct with both the spike in hate crime that followed the referendum and the movement that has emerged around Tommy Robinson over the last few weeks. The left should deplore and, if necessary, physically resist such acts of violent racism.

But fighting fascism does not mean accepting globalisation. The fact is, working class people are right to be pissed off about global economic and financial integration – especially those in the places that have been most ravaged by it. Financial globalisation has led to the concentration of capital in a series of financial entrepots, more integrated into the global economy than they are with their own countries. Rather than using this capital for productive investment, these centres have repurposed it for the kind of financial wizardry that caused the 2008 crash. London is in many ways the global financial hub par excellence, with the City of London the vampire squid sucking on the face of the global economy.

The left should be making a case for Brexit that involves resisting financial globalisation, whilst welcoming immigrants from the parts of the world that have been most ravaged by both colonialism and free market neocolonialism.
finance  economics  politics  globalisation  financialisation  neoliberalism  anti-globalisation  IMF  WTO  protest  activism  StiglitzJoseph  KrugmanPaul  TheLeft  France  nationalisation  Greece  Italy  EU  Euro  singleMarket  UK  Brexit  referendum  campaigning  immigration  intervention  economy  dctagged  dc:creator=BlakeleyGrace 
june 2018 by petej
IMF admits disastrous love affair with the euro, apologises for the immolation of Greece
"The report said the whole approach to the eurozone was characterised by “groupthink” and intellectual capture. They had no fall-back plans on how to tackle a systemic crisis in the eurozone – or how to deal with the politics of a multinational currency union – because they had ruled out any possibility that it could happen."

"The injustice is that the cost of the bail-outs was switched to ordinary Greek citizens – the least able to support the burden – and it was never acknowledged that the true motive of EU-IMF Troika policy was to protect monetary union. Indeed, the Greeks were repeatedly blamed for failures that stemmed from the policy itself. This unfairness – the root of so much bitterness in Greece – is finally recognised in the report."
IMF  Europe  finance  debt  crisis  Euro  bailout  Greece  Portugal  Ireland  ECB  troika 
july 2016 by petej
Three days that saved the euro | Ian Traynor | World news | The Guardian
In the end, Tsipras had capitulated to a script written in Berlin – reneging on his election pledges and splitting his own party, which did not prevent him from winning the snap election he called in September. But the bigger question may be what the chastening experience of that tense weekend did to Germany and Europe. Schäuble’s bid to banish Greece from the eurozone had not succeeded, but it had resurrected the spectre of German bullying – the outcome of the summit, Munich’s Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote, amounted to a demonstration of German power at the expense of German leadership.

Merkel had listened to Schäuble, opted not to stop him, and then in the end, overruled him – perhaps less for the sake of saving Greece and the euro and more to avoid being blamed for the unforeseeable consequences. When it was all over on Monday morning, her reflections on the deal were typically pragmatic: “The advantages,” she reasoned, “outweigh the disadvantages.”
Greece  Syriza  Europe  EU  Euro  finance  debt  crisis  bailout  negotiations  grexit  politics  TsiprasAlexis  SchaeubleWolfgang  EC  ESM  ECB  RenziMatteo  JunckerJean-Claude  Germany  France  TuskDonald  DraghiMario  DijsselbloemJeroen  Eurogroup  MerkelAngela  VaroufakisYanis  IMF  LagardeChristine  referendum  liquidity  banks  TsakalotosEuclid  reform  HollandeFrancois 
october 2015 by petej
Wynne Godley · Maastricht and All That · LRB 8 October 1992
"If a country or region has no power to devalue, and if it is not the beneficiary of a system of fiscal equalisation, then there is nothing to stop it suffering a process of cumulative and terminal decline leading, in the end, to emigration as the only alternative to poverty or starvation."
Maastricht  EU  EuropeanUnion  Euro  currency  integration  democracy  sovereignty  federalism  government  politics  LRB 
july 2015 by petej
Greek debt crisis: Tsipras resists key bailout measures after 15 hours of talks | World news | The Guardian
"The Eurogroup document said experts from the troika of creditors – the International Monetary Fund, European Commission and European Central Bank– would be on the ground in Athens to monitor the proposed bailout programme. The trio would also have a say in all relevant Greek draft legislation before it is presented to parliament. Furthermore, the Greeks will have to amend all legislation already passed by the Syriza government this year that had not been agreed with the creditors."
Greece  TsiprasAlexis  Syriza  Europe  finance  debt  crisis  negotiations  IMF  assets  Euro  grexit  politics  democracy  sovereignty 
july 2015 by petej
The Pantomime of The Greek Deal
"I wrote in January that after decades of the wrong people succeeding from the wrong reasons, Greece was yearning for the right people to fail for the right reasons. I believe this is what has happened. I do not, for a moment, doubt this government's honesty or integrity and that is an important step forward, psychologically. I believe they have done the best that anyone could have, with honesty and - yes, at times - wide eyed naïveté. I do not envy their task in the weeks and months to come, whatever it turns out to be, and I intend to fully support them in it.

I also wrote, in January, that even if the Syriza dream ends in compromise, what it will achieve is to bring unsavoury operators, who like to keep their arm-twisting and blackmail confined to the chalets of Davos, out into the open. One must know who the enemy is, in order to fight the enemy. Syriza has achieved that. Now, it is over to you, Spain. Take what we've learned and apply it wisely. "
Greece  Syriza  Europe  finance  debt  crisis  negotiations  reform  austerity  Euro  grexit  troika 
july 2015 by petej
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