Photo: © Petros Diveris, Molyvos, Lesvos, October 2015
The recent developments in Europe mean that the European Union is no more. The European project was sold to us, European progressives, as the way to guarantee peace and prosperity for the continent, in contrast with a not so distant past which has never really stopped shaping the discourse. The idea that the EU is a guarantee for peace is simply not true anymore. The European Union is now terminally split in spheres of influence, just like in the 19th century, with the Visegrád group essentially acting as the enforcers of Vienna, France looking to the other direction, Italy fancying that it's a storm, and that calm will somehow be restored. Germany is pretending that it doesn't agree with the unilateral action of the Visegrád group -plus Bulgaria and Serbia- to seal off their borders with Greece, essentially trapping the refugees in the battered country. In reality Germany is very happy that someone else is blocking the refugees' entrance into their country. In Merkel's mind this amounts to two birds with one stone (she's clever like that). Germany appears benevolent, yet Greece is bearing the costs, and to breaking point, which is an extra bird for said stone.
It is common knowledge that the current bunch of politicians in charge of European policy are not well versed in history. For example, if they had any knowledge of the recent past then they'd know that these countries were the first to join the Nazis in their assault on Europe, and it was Greece that paid the highest price amongst all, to defend exactly what the group now fancifully call "European values". At this point we are past ignorance and well into hubris. Don't forget that until today Germany has not apologised to the Greeks for what they did (with the notable exception of their president), nor have they ever paid any meaningful reparations. They haven't even paid back the money they forced the Bank of Greece to lend to the invading army to bankroll the occupation. Incidentally, that's exactly the same model Wolfgang Schäuble is pursuing today, one in which Greece is forced to sell its family silver to pay for the "privilege" of being run as a protectorate.
The European Union has no principles anymore, it only talks force now. It will award billions of euros to an increasingly arrogant and dangerous Turkey, but peanuts to Greece, a fellow member of the "union", even though the country is facing a humanitarian catastrophe for which is not responsible. No, Turkey is partly responsible, which is why the EU will award them billions. Roughly 400 million euros will be allocated for Greece, and will be spent directly on the refugees, bypassing the Greek state, in an insulting act akin to slapping someone in the face in public. The EU is treating a fellow member as a pariah and a potential thieve, whilst awarding billions to a regime that is responsible for arms trade, oil smuggling and contraband ancient artefacts, if not for the refugees in the first place. These are the kinds of things the European union understands and approves of, and it does so with a lorry full of money, and a wink or two.
For too many years I thought that the European project had the potential to transform the periphery into something more functioning, something more akin to the advanced core states. That belief of mine was a grave mistake. The "union" has no problems in dealing with fascist Hungary's and Slovakia's walls and moats, or negotiating with Erdoğan, the closest one can get to an elected dictator. It also has no qualms in actively destroying Greece, virtually converting the beautiful country into a gigantic refugee camp. Brussels and Berlin did not blink once when the Slovakian PM Fico, a fascist in all but name, said that there is a "hotspot" in Europe, and that is Greece. In 21st century Europe it is considered OK to talk in such terms about a fellow member of the "union", and that's exactly why the EU is dead.
The European union is dead because it is no longer a union. The only language the Europeans understand now is that of force. The reason Greece has to be destroyed is twofold. It is because the Europeans can destroy it, and so they will, more so as the Greeks are responding with the same kind of submissiveness we observe in victims of domestic violence. Second, it is important for Germany to direct everybody's attention to its trained dancing bear, Greece, for otherwise we might start wondering exactly how exposed Deutsche Bank is, and ultimately Germany as a country, to derivatives and toxic loans. As Greece is being taken to the execution chambers or even worse to the place of no memories, the United Kingdom is offered a Lewinsky kind of service by the European heavyweights, the Schäubles and the Tusks.
It is clear at this moment that we need to save Europe, and progressive politics, from this bunch of technocratic vultures, the Dijsselbloems, Merkels and Hollandes, Austria, but also their quasi-fascist henchmen in Budapest and the Balkans. We need to be clear now that we will no longer work for the EU, or with the EU, but despite the EU, in order to save Europe - if it's not too late. The EU is extremely dangerous for Europe, and the sooner we understand this the best.
When it comes to Greece I am pessimistic as I think that it's too late, the country has already been choked to death. But I do also think that the Eurocrats are essentially a bunch of cowards, and that they do get scared if one's prepared to play hard. Greece has to act mad now, perhaps they could ask Israel for a crash course in chutzpah. The country has nothing left to lose, and it's about time they realise this before they disappear for ever in λήθη. They should threaten to act unilaterally on the refugee front; they should contact Putin who's partly to blame for killing Greece off. They should finally raise the prospect of the drachma, and of a hasty exit from all European agreements and treaties. The European union needs more than gestures and a loud slap in the face, if we are to save Europe; make no mistake, the destruction of Greece cannot be brought about without the destruction of Europe itself. Only the Slovakian Prime Minister cannot understand this.