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Hey Zeus, you picked the wrong Europe

, by Sarantis Michalopoulos

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After the positive vote for the second bailout in the Greek Parliament, Greek youngsters woke up and they are still in Eurozone. Greek lawmakers cheerfully maintained that they saved the country from a collapse and that took a responsible decision (reportedly while some of them during the breaks of the quite exhausting speeches, they were so responsibly watching a football match in the Parliament’s café).

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Saving Greece and Europe

Nevertheless we need to recognize that they also ensured many other things. They ensured the security in the center of Athens from the so-called black-masked protestors (ONLY 45 arsons in buildings), they ensured the order in other big cities (riots and damages ONLY in Corfu, Crete, Thessaloniki, Agrinio etc ), but at least they sympathized and comprehended in public the population’s concerns. “We deeply sympathize the concerns and the pain Greek citizens are getting through”, government officials were so responsibly highlighting.

Additionally, Greek lawmakers stabilized the quite viable youth unemployment rate which reaches ONLY 46.6%. Moreover, they deserve special honor, as they chose to cut the income of those bad pensioners who struggled during the Second World War for a democratic Europe, in order to increase the state revenues and calm down the financial markets. At this point, we should make clear that the second memorandum is result of the insufficient implementation of the first one. The Greek government did not proceed to privatization of state agencies (as mentioned in the 1st bailout program) “fearing” to lose the bonds with its partisans.

Let’s also point out, that it was a quite good move not to “touch” their own income, it is a common knowledge, they have many expenses. Still, the immunity is intact, while justice is not visible for the various political scandals.

“Denmark of Southern Europe”- Getting out of Plato’s cave

During the pre-election period, our former PM G. Papandreou promised to turn Greece into a “Denmark of the South”. Some months ago, he publicly guaranteed that each Greek family will have at least 1 employee! This is policy!

Almost 9 months after his election, he called for IMF’s bailout. Characteristically, he announced the bailout program during a visit in a small Greek island.

For policymakers in Europe, IMF’s involvement in the Eurozone was considered to be very logical, see below the results for this tolerance*. A former Greek PM also stated some weeks ago during a public speech in Germany, that “those who go bankrupt are bad businessmen” who didn’t pay off their taxes. Conclusion: 2/3 of Greeks are bad businessmen or the Greek state is incapable of combating the tax evasion? Government’s vice president recently argued that we collectively “spent this money […] not just politicians”.

Let me just remind them, that the substance of electing deputies in a Parliament is to give a lead to the country’s orientation. If a nation is corrupted, then one policymaker is obliged to change this trend. This is why one is getting elected, to take the lead and bring the masses into the light. Just like Plato’s cave, the ones who know, are morally obliged to set free the chained masses and get them out the dark cave, leading them to the sun of truth and knowledge. Probably, the ancient Greek philosophy must be restated in the Universities in and out of Europe.

The marvelous and unprecedented thing is the outcome of these austerity measures. In 2020, our sovereign debt will reach the 120% of our GDP, thus the rate just before the beginning of the crisis! What an excellent policy, indescribable.

*The results of austerity policy of New Europe in Rompuy’s “Annus Mirabilis” 2012!

Spain- 49.6% Greece- 46.6% Slovakia- 35.1% Lithuania- 31.1% Portugal- 30.7% Italy- 30.1% Latvia- 29.9% Ireland- 29.3% Poland- 27.8% France- 23.8%

These are the official youth unemployment rates in the EU and simultaneously, the bitter reality. In the last extraordinary EU Summit for “Growth and Youth Unemployment”, we didn’t see concrete steps towards growth and job creation. We remained stable in the theoretical initiative to bring the European youth on the front. Nevertheless, we were told that it is us who will have to face this crisis, that we need to realize the criticality of the moments and above all, that we need to adjust to the new labor relations regimes. What exactly does this mean?

The content of this text is as ironic as the reality is. Our generation is obliged to foot the bill of previous generations’ irreversible faults. But what is the objective? What is the idea to focus on and struggle for?

Their biggest mistake: They educated young people

As young people we should still be optimistic. Policymakers made a huge mistake, all these years they let us know each other, exchange views, experiences and above all, create COMMON dreams for our future. The common objective is the creation of a new idea, an idea that obviously cannot be absorbed by previous generations. This is a Federal, Democratic, Prosperous and Equal Europe, which will not be guided by international financial markets claims and will not accept seeing desperate pensioners crying in the streets of its capitals.

The essence of a real state (…at least in Europe) is being assessed based on its treatment toward elderly and young people. Their model failed. They lost the control of “spontaneous order” and now politics are being guided by international financial markets appetite.

Our idea will have to be a true New Europe, which will have a democratically elected government and be characterized by solidarity among its units. Let’s be clear. They cannot conceive the solidarity we, as young people, can recognize each other. Their solidarity is selective and it has double standards. As Mario Monti said “Euro was supposed to unite us, not result in Eurozone’s collapse”.

This is not the Europe “Zeus grabbed”. We need either a new Zeus to guide us (a true European leader) or Zeus to bring us back the Europe we were promised in the post-war era.

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