Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I agree Britain is punishing itself plenty already, as the Tories are so obviously winging it, deep in denial and irresponsible.
In a sense they have already injected their venom into the EU and now are on their way out, ostensibly.
That is also due to the gutter press which is allowed to run riot there like in no other EU country to my knowledge. (Please correct if wrong, I know they're not the only ones by a long shot and I don't read Polish or Hungarian press.)
After Greece it seems obvious to many citizens that the priorities for the EU are banks and arms industries, and that the IMF-Troika machine was hungrily ensconced in the halls of power at Brussels.
It is the immiseration caused by the these neoliberal economics and the straitjacket of the Euro that is fuelling the rise of the hard right, exacerbated by hypocritical and ham-fisted immigration policy. 4,000,000 Italians are now below the poverty line, a situation not seen since the postwar period. Italy is half way to Greece's status already. (Not all the EU's fault, but it hasn't helped!)
You might infer that because I wrote exclusively about the EU's flaws, that I have no hope at all for this grand experiment. On the contrary, for many aspects I admire and support the EU, and know that Italy is responsible too for many of its problems.
There is nothing wrong with the EU that could not be solved with more transparency and democracy, those lackings which have given rise to Farage, Salvini and Le Pen. Why give them that easy red meat? Cui bono?
Perhaps the biggest problem the EU had was extracting the individual countries' sovereignty willingly.
While the economy was pre-2007 it was going relatively ok as for many countries such as Italy it did feel a net positive as they were being being governed so sketchily themselves. Polls showed a 70% approval rating from Italians for the EU, even under Berlusconi.
Maybe I should say especially under Berlusconi!
That's why Greece'so case was so heartbreaking, especially as it was revealed that American finance had helped fudge the numbers to have Greece on board in the first place, and that all the bailout money was going to dodgy submarines, dodgier banks and the like.
It sure ripped off the mask for Italians who have gone from enthusiastically pro to the opposite.
No one is blameless in all this fiasco, for the EU's sake Britain under Tory misrule is better off out, maybe once (if) May continues to founder and Corbyn wins there can be another referendum and the UK can still remain, as so many heartily wish for (myself included). Cameron has opened Pandora's box and now unless a redecision is handled with very competent diplomacy there will be great rage in the Exciteers if they don't get their way.
But either way, it's not about who's worse, they both need new attitudes and radical reform, however now some sovereignty has been willingly given up (but far from all) so the baby is half born, as it were.
"Europe made us do it" has become an alibi for the last three Italian governments.
It was always going to be hard overcoming centuries of war and distrust, linguistic differences and cultural memories too.
But after a good start it started attracting envy, now it's undermined by both Russia and the US.
(Precisely when many of its citizens are losing faith.)
If it doesn't reform soon, far right parties will gather strength, just as in the USA where bad faith government by supposedly left-of-centre parties set things up for El Trumpo,  now what will we do to regain broken trust? Or now that the consumer economy here has shrunk along with the middle class, what do our high level operatives want to substitute it with?
All we see is more predator capitalism on the menu as far as I can see, the lobbying in Brussels is rivalling that of Washington in its pernicious influence and no matter what Draghi does, GOP growth remains unsustainably low.
Europe is still a fantastic place to live, (compared to anywhere else especially), I am still a believer in the noble postwar aims of the EU. Even if it flopped the good it did in giving 2 generations the opportunities to spread their wings and learn to know their neighbours better has been a great boon and a good taste of what is possible.

It's the neoliberal brain rot wot's doing her in, opening the door to racism and civil strife. Why can't they see that in the lofty towers of Europower?

Or don't they want to?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Nov 24th, 2017 at 05:16:20 PM EST
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