There’s an old quote, attributed to Mr. Henry Kissinger, about the diplomatic relationship between USA and Europe; it’s reported as follows “Who do I call if I want to speak to Europe?”
Yesterday this question finally found an answer, with the unilateral decision of the ECB to stop any further acquisition of state-emitted bonds from Greece, due to the request of redefine the terms of the massive loan accorded to that country. It’s quite interesting to note that ECB is a technical organization, not a political one. Its board acts without any specific instruction by the EU commission, nor from any other European institution. None of its members is elected by a public consultation.
So we have an unprecedented situation; a legitimate government asks to its peers to review the terms of the loans accorded in the past, looking for a way to find better options to restart its own economy, and a non-political organization give a response – kicking out in the cold every Greek bank and openly saying to the International markets to slain that country.
Ideally speaking we have a symbolic set of scales. On one side, the weight of about 220 Euro billions. On the other side, the fate of a nation. ECB set its response clear, what matters it’s the money. So much for democracy, for the respect owed to the decisions of a free country, for more than ten millions humans that live in Greece. Money over democracy, that’s EU today.
Am I too harsh? Maybe. Or maybe somebody could kindly explain to a common man like me the reasons why organizations like ECB, IMF and WB could dictate to a democratic government what to do with the lives of its citizens. Maybe my fellow Italian, the ECB chairman Mario Draghi, could finally explain the reasons why after six years of economic austerity the aforementioned organizations still push countries like Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland and France down the same unsuccessful path.
Anyway, yesterday we found an answer for Mr. Kissinger; if he still wants to speak to Europe, all the phone numbers are listed here.
Note: Mr. Kissinger said in 2012 that he didn’t think the saying originated with him, you may find the whole story here.