De voormalige Griekse minister van Financiën Yanis Varoufakis blikt terug op het jaar waarin hij tevergeefs probeerde de Europese schuldeisers te overtuigen van het schadelijke effect van hun beleid.
If our democratic, Europeanist, progressive challenge to permanent debt bondage were snuffed out, I told them, the deepening crisis would produce a xenophobic, illiberal, anti-European wave not only in Greece but across the continent.
Greece’s brief rebellion against permanent depression was ruthlessly suppressed in the summer of 2015. It was a very modern coup: EU institutions used banks, not tanks. Unlike the coups that overthrew Greece’s democracy in 1967 or Czechoslovakia’s Prague Spring a year later, the usurpers wore suits and sipped mineral water.
Terwijl neoliberalen als Reagan en zelfs Thatcher zich nog wel iets aantrokken van de effecten van hun beleid op de publieke opinie sloegen de EU leiders Varoufakis’ waarschuwingen in de wind.
Alas, following Europe’s economic crisis, something other than liberalism, or even neoliberalism, has taken over our establishment, seemingly without anyone noticing. Europe now has a highly illiberal establishment that does not even try to win over the population.
Now that the so-called liberal establishment is feeling the nationalist, bigoted backlash that its own illiberalism brought about, it is responding a little like the proverbial parricide who appeals to the court for leniency on the grounds that he is now an orphan. It is time to tell Europe’s elites that they have only themselves to blame. And it is time for progressives to join forces and reclaim European democracy from an establishment that has lost its way and endangered European unity.