This is a time of upheaval for the EU, with both the Greek and Italian PMs giving up their posts. The Paris Institute’s John Laughland says that this undemocratic transfer of power is not going to save the euro.
Laughland told RT that the people who have assumed power in Greece and are shortly to take the helm in Italy have never been elected.
“These are men who have made their entire careers through garnering important appointments in places like the European Commission or European Central Bank. They have no democratic mandate at all,” he argues. “What is so frightening about what is happening now, as the European Union and the euro enter their death agonies, is the way in which the European Union is showing its true nature as a dictatorship.”
After all, it is the euro that has effectively commanded these two prime ministers to leave office, not the people, says Laughland.
“Papandreou had to leave office the moment he suggested the referendum on the debt package. Berlusconi had to leave office the moment he said that Italians had become poorer under the euro,” Laughland recalls.
He believes that it is a very ugly development in Europe, where people are being put in power because they serve the interests and demands of the European Union, not because they have got any electoral support in their home countries.
As for the way out of the crisis, Laughland believes that Greece’s outgoing prime minister, George Papandreou came up with the best solution when he suggested that the monumental austerity package and the associated debt bailout program be put to a referendum.
“It was perhaps the most intelligent thing he had done in his premiership. After all, if you are asking a country to make sacrifices, then surely you need to legitimize it through public debate and winning a referendum,” Laughland told RT.
Laugland argues that the governments are responsible for the crisis, but there is a co-responsible element, and that is the euro itself. He says that the Greeks and Italians never voted for the common European currency.
“I am not saying that they are against it as a nation, but it was never subjected to a referendum in those countries. In situations of crisis like this, it sure makes sense to have the maximum amount of democratic legitimacy, instead of which the European Union has shown it is afraid, particularly of democratic votes. It was terrified when the Greeks announced the referendum,” he declared.