The Malta Independent 16 April 2024, Tuesday
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A new Che Guevara for Europe

Simon Mercieca Friday, 10 July 2015, 12:25 Last update: about 10 years ago

The Greek vote has put Europeans in a quandary. It has ended up dividing Europe into two if not three blocks. There is a block,which will be looking more and more towards America. This is led by Britain. There is a block in favour of Greece, which is led by France. Then, there is a block, which is supporting Germany. This block wants Greeceto exit from the European Union. Malta is now part of this latter group. Scicluna and Muscat were quoted by the conservative British newspaper,The Telegraph, for their strong position against Greece. Muscat said that he was unimpressed by the presentation of the Greek Finance Minister. Scicluna spoke about the possibility of a Greek exit from the European Union. Ironically, in the past Labour had criticized the PN about its foreign and economic policies. Sciclunahas ended up building his economic and finance policies on PN principles. One needs to remember that Prime Minister, Lawrence Gonzi was very close to Merkel. Muscat is now following in his footsteps.

The divide is being publicly manifested. The photograph of the Greek Finance Minister sitting at one end of the room whilea group of European Finance Ministers was sitting at the other end hasgoneround of the world. As a historian, this image reminded me of another famous one,that of the Treaty of Vienna, where the French Ambassador was made to sit on his own with the rest of the victorious powers conglomerated around the table, in the same arrogant manner that the Finance Ministers of EuropesurroundedWolfgang Schäuble. Fortunately, in Vienna, there was Prince Metternich who perceived the dangers of isolating France. I hope that Europe finds a new Prince to illuminate her infuture.

I do not think that Finance Ministers are treating Greece as befits a continent that flaunts its liberal values. It reminds me of the manner in which Germany was treated after the First World War. Finance Ministers should start brushing up their European history.At least, this photograph gives the impression of the high level of arroganceand insensitivity that reigns today in Brussels. All the past European discourse about solidarity and subsidiarity has gone with the wind.

I do not accept the way howEurope is behaving towardsGreece and its new Finance Minister. It should be remembered that the Finance Ministers had asked for the replacement ofYanisVaroufakis. Intelligently enough, Varoufakis resigned.  I was not keen on the tactics adopted by Varoufakis. But he made the right decision to resign as Finance Minister after our smart European Finance Ministers said that he was a persona non grata because he does not speak their same language.Unfortunately or one should say fortunately he does not wear expensive suits and ties as the rest of the European ministers do. Yet, Varoufakis was elected minister by the Greek people.  Hence, the way this elected minister has been handled by the other European Finance ministers smacks of sheer European arrogancethat was present in Europe during the age of the dictators. If Europe is a continent that believes in democracy and diversity, it should embrace one and all. But even the discourse about diversity is false in Europe because now, it is starting to reveal theconceit of the various and vociferous lobby groups.

Junker is proving to be a serious delusion. Furthermore, for the President of the EU to define a people’s referendum  ‘a circus’ is unacceptable. Obviously, European politicians are only ready to welcome the decision of the people when this is in line with their policies.Yet Brussels so far has failed to unseat Tsipras. Ironically by the ongoing behaviour, they are making him stronger and stronger by the day. The Greek people are appreciatingTsipras. He was the first politician to consultthem about such an important issue. Previous so-called democratic governments, both of the left or right matrix, never consulted the people.

My fear is that the EU is creating a modern Che GuevarainTsipras and Varoufakis. Many remember Che Guevara for his Marxist militancy. But many also forget that once the Cuban revolution was accomplished, Che Guevara was appointed its Minister of Finance. As Finance Minisiter,CheGuerava adopted unorthodox methods that shocked the West. I am sure that Varoufakis was emulating Che Guevara in the way he dealt with the Finance Ministers of Europe.This explains why Fidel Castro wrote a letter congratulating Tsipras.

This is also why the vote in Greece has come as a shock to many politicians in Europe. It is a serious mistake if these politicians, starting with Junker, ridicule a popular vote. European governments are not accustomed to such forms of landslide victories. Getting 61% of the votes is undreamt of for many (if not all) European politicians. A young upstart in Greece has done it, defying allexpectations.

There is no doubt that Greece has squandered money during the ‘belle epoque‘ of the famous Papandreou. I still remember the stories that circulated in the international news about Papandreou’s sexual life and his affairs with anairhostess, whom he later married. Like a Fellini film, these images represented Greece’s announced tragedy. Unfortunately, the problem was not solved with the Centre-right governments.Clientelism continued to reign supreme in Greece.

The next question should be what is Europe’s future to be? I think that if there is aGrexit, those countries around Germany will push for a European Federation. This would mean that Malta would become part of a new Federal Europe. The rest (that is those around France) will have to follow. Strangely enough, Malta’s Socialists Government is now in a Centre-Right coalition led by Merkel. The Left tends to be behind Holland.

Thus, Europe will end up divided in three blocks. There will be the Anglo-American block. This will be flanked by the Baltic States and Poland. These latter countries treasure their adherence to NATO more than to the European Union. They will form one block. Malta and a number of countries will gather around Germany. Then, the Eastern countries, starting with Greece, together with Cyprus, Bulgaria, Serbia, the former Republic of Macedonia and Romania will slowly enter within the Russian sphere of interest.

At the moment, it is not in Russia’s interest for Greece to leave the EU. This explains why Tsipras spoke as he spoke to the European Parliament. But if heisforced out, there would be no other option for Russia but to go out to the rescue of their Greek brothers. This will put NATO into another crisis. This explains why Obama was so keen to phone up Greece Prime Minister.Europe is turning its dream into a nightmare.



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