Medieval Government Returns to Europe

November 20th, 2011
in econ_news

by Dirk Ehnts

medieval_jousters_original Econintersect: It appears that people finally understand that the situation in Ireland (and in Greece and Portugal, perhaps Italy as well) is one in which the people have lost sovereignty to the troika. The “troika” is the EU Commission, the EU Parliament and the ECB (European Central Bank). The countries mentioned cannot be counted as democracies anymore, since the representatives of the people cannot determine the government budget – the troika can veto anything they want.  Click on image for larger picture.

Follow up:

A recent article in the Irish Times made clear where Irish domestic policy is set now:

THE GOVERNMENT has complained to the European Commission over the release in Germany of a document disclosing confidential details about new taxes to be introduced in Ireland over the next two years.

In a deeply embarrassing development the document – identifying austerity measures of €3.8 billion in next month’s budget and €3.5 billion in budget 2013 – was made public after being shown to the finance committee of the German Bundestag yesterday.

All of this wouldn’t be that bad if at least at the European level there was democracy. However, that doesn’t exist.  The European Commission is not a government elected by the representatives’ people, but by the heads of state of the member countries.  The parliament itself is seriously short on rights, like that to of starting a vote of no confidence in order to get rid of the government.  Also, there is some serious misrepresentation of different nationalities.

The way Europe is administered now, with financial markets pressuring countries until they submit to control of the troika, is leading to a form of government which hasn’t been seen in Western Europe for a long time. And this is not a coincidence, since the way things happen could be stopped relatively easily by implementing changes of the rules. It is just that those in power don’t want to change the rules, as the recent ‘reform’ plans on ratings and the equalization of purchasing government bonds with a deadly sin show.

The Irish, nevertheless, surely remember what it feels like. They know their history well.

Editor’s note: This originally appeared on the author’s personal blog with the title “Republik von Irland

Sources:  Linked within the article

About the Author

Dr. Dirk Ehnts is a research assistant at the Carl-von-Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (Germany). His focus is on economic integration and economic geography, covering trade, macro and development. He is working at the chair for international economics since 2006 and has recently co-authored a book on Innovation and International Economic Relations (in German). Ehnts has written at his own blog since 2007: Econblog 101Curriculum Vitae.

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1 comment

  1. Derryl Hermanutz says :

    The scary part of Dirk's article is that he is not describing some theoretical dystopian future for Europe, but a "return" to a historical norm: feudalism-a small rich owner class and a large propertyless serf class. The Enlightenment and democracy are fragile flowers clinging to a harsh world that has historically been ruled by power, not morally informed reason. Without care and tending those flowers that express the more evolved spiritual side of human nature could readily be choked out of existence by the persistent weeds that are the animal side of human nature. We are privileged to have been born into a free world. It is up to us now to preserve that because it can very soon be lost. 



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