Spodaj je zanimiv posnetek okrogle mize in še posebej pričevanja Yanisa Varoufakisa 6. oktobra na dogodku v Berlinu z naslovom Plan B za Evropo? Varoufakis se je odgovora na vprašanje, kaj sploh je evroskupina in kako deluje, lotil na temeljit in poglobljen način. Bil je praktično prvi in edini, ki je do sedaj iz ozadja iz prve roke razgalil delovanje te neformalne skupine. Bistvo njegovega odgovora je v tem, da obstoj evroskupine nima zakonske podlage in da zaradi tega njen predsednik lahko počne kar želi. Prav tako njegov namestnik in vodja delovne skupine. Varoufakis je izpostavil tudi hierarhijo na sestankih evroskupine: prvo besedo ima sicer predstavnik evropske komisije, vendar je v bistvu nepomemben, gre zgolj za formalnost. Največ besede imata ECB in Mednarodni denarni sklad.
Kaj pa finančni ministri, ki predstavljajo članice evroobmočja? Tam so zgolj zato, da zadostijo formalnosti potrjevanja vnaprej določenih sklepov, ki se sprejemajo za zaprtimi vrati. Na sestanke prihajajo brez vnaprejšnjih ključnih podatkov in informacij. Dobijo sicer besedo, vendar se jim niti ne sanja, o čem točno teče beseda, kakšna je realna situacija v državi, o kateri teče beseda ali kakšni so njeni predlogi. Vedo zgolj tisto, kar jim pove Trojka in kar so morda sami prebrali v javnih občilih.
Če spodaj napisano drži, in ni razloga, da Varoufakisu ne bi verjeli (še več, sklepamo lahko, da gre za širši vzorec delovanja in odločanja v evropskih institucijah), potem je evropski projekt, kot ga imamo sedaj, tako slaba šala, da ni vredna niti stare dobre britanske satire ali sočnega balkanskega humorja. Odločevalski procesi (ne samo v Evropi) so bili kot, kot kaže, že zdavnaj ugrabljeni s strani finančnih in drugih neizvoljenih elit v ozadju in sedaj to brez sramu, celo s ponosno aroganco, postaja vse bolj očitno.
Ravno zato je Varoufakisova izpoved tako pomembna. Potrebujemo več podobnih whistleblowerjev, ki bodo razkrili resnične procese in dogajanje v ozadju političnega in medijskega smokescreena. Toda ne pričakujte česa podobnega od našega Mramorja ali manj kot mlačnega ‘delamovsekarlahko’ Cerarja.
Varoufakis: »The Eurozone – think of it as our confederacy, a confederal macroeconomy, political economy, United States of Europe, that once upon a time was being imagined. This is what we have instead of United States of Europe, but it is a single block, an economic block with a single currency. Now, who runs it? It’s not Mrs. Merkel, it’s not Wolfgang Schäuble, it’s not the finance ministers who sit around the table of the Eurogroup. The Eurogroup makes all the important decisions that affect your lives. All of them, every single one of them. State governments, this federal government, make some decisions, but the main ones that affect your daily existence come from the Eurogroup. Now, what is the Eurogroup? When I asked at some point, some time in June… president Dijsselbloem had made the decision – I won’t bother you with what it was – which I contested. So I asked for legal advice from the secretariat of the Eurogroup and I said: ‘president Dijsselbloem just decided to do x, does he have the right according to the rules to do x?’ Suddenly there was panic, for 10 minutes officials were talking to one another, picking up the phone, talking to unseen and unheard (to me at least), officials. For 10 minutes, 10 minutes is a long time. And then some bureaucrat addresses me and says: ‘Minister, the Eurogroup does not exist in law, since it is not part of any of European Union treaties, which means that there are no rules and therefore its president can do as he likes.‘ Now that is the body, that is running our economy. Our collective, Eurozone economy.«
(28:58 – 31:08)
»The finance ministers were sitting along the long lines of the table. The short sides of the table were where the power resided. It was Dijsselbloem, not that powerful but the president. Next to him was a man called Thomas Wieser. Have you heard of him? Probably not. He’s the deputy of Dijsselbloem. He heads the Euro Working Group, which is the bureaucrats, you know, the cabinet of the Eurogroup. Much more powerful than any of the ministers there. Never heard of him, you never voted for him. You cant, he’s unelected. On the opposite side of the table is Mario Draghi, the head of the ECB, very smart man. Next to him another smart man, very pleasant person too, Benoit Coeure. Unelected. They are representing the central bank. Opposite them, again going back to the side of Dijsselbloem, is a guy called Poul Thomsen, who is the head of European desk of the International Monetary Fund. Sometimes Christine Lagarde is there with him, when she is in town. When she is not, she is represented by him. So the International Monetary Fund has a seat, a very important seat, in your government, the Eurogroup, our government. That’s what our government really is, where big decisions are made. Going back to the other side, where Draghi is sitting, next to him is the least significant member of the Troika: the economics and finance commissioner, Pierre Moscovici. Not because he is not a substantial person, but because The Commission these days has next to no power.«
The coreography now, we are in the theatre, let me tell you the coreography. Let’s say we are talking about Greece, for example. President Dijsselbloem will say: ‘Ok, now we are going to talk about Greece and we are going to assess the progress of the Greek program.’ First would be the Moscovici, representing the Commission, for historical reasons he speaks first… Then Mario Draghi speaks on behalf of the ECB, giving his assessment of how the Greek program is going (Spain, how the Spanish national budget’s execution is progressing, Italy, if it’s Italy and so on and so forth, or France…). And then there would be the International Monetary Fund representatives speaking. Again, remember, this is an IMF person speaking about European affairs. And then the minister of the country, which is being discussed, will have 10 minutes or so to wrap up, to say things. Now, the ministers who are sitting there have precisely zero information in front of them about what is being discussed. No folder, no statistics, no data. Nothing. Zero. It’s whatever the Troika representatives tell them. Then each one of them takes the floor and says a few things on the basis of complete and utter by design ignorance. They have no data.
At some point the Irish finance minister, when the Greek negotiation was hotting up and I was being presented in that meeting with an ultimatum by Mr. Dijsselbloem, Michael Noonan put his hand up – I wrote an article about that in The Irish Times – and asked: ‘I was being asked to participate in the conversation where I have absolutely no information about what’s going on. I don’t know what the Greek proposals are, I don’t know what the Troika proposals are about Greece. How am I supposed to have an opinion about this?’ … So the Eurogroup makes all the decisions on our behalf. It’s really not guided by the finance ministers. The finance ministers are there to lend legitimacy to it on the basis of being totally ignorant. Maybe Wolfgang is not ignorant because he has privileged information. But I can assure you I was. Except for issues concerning Greece because of course that was my expertise. But when we were discussing France I had no information. Except some things that you cold read in Die Zeit or The Financial Times. So you had as much information as I did. Who makes the decisions? These are all prepackaged decisions. Decisions that have already been decided behind close doors by the Troika. And the Eurogroup is simply a process. The only thing of substance that the Eurogroup does? We decide the communique, you know, the press release. The wording of it. We could be there for six hours, arguing about two words. On one occasion we were there for seven hours arguing about one word.
Compare and contrast this to United States. The United States quality of democracy leaves much to be desired as we all know. But at least there, there is a Senate, there is a house of representatives where, as the Americans say, the buck stops. Even the president can be impeached by the Senate. The Treasury secretary has to go to the Senate and answer to them as to what decisions he’s made. The Fed, Janet Yellen now, Ben Bernanke before, has to appear regularly in front of the Senate and the Senate can sanction the Fed. The Eurogroup is not even determined in terms of decision making by its own members. They go back to their countries, I can tell you from experience, in the dark about what is the essence of what has been decided. They are not answerable. We as finance ministers would go back to the parliament and we would say: ‘I did my best.’ I wasn’t answerable to parliament. How could parliament sanction me on the decision which I never really made?… So we have created a common currency that is, together with a dollar, the most significant currency in the world outside the political process. And because money can never be apolitical, when you take money outside the political process you make it, firstly, inefficient economically, secondly, it gives rise to crises and then to failures in dealing with the crises. And because of these failures the system in order to reproduce itself has to turn to authoritarianism to do so. And to squeeze governments like us that have the audacity to say no.«
(31:35 – 39:05)
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