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Home arrow newsitems arrow Double leap forward: EuroZone celebrates twice its 10th Anniversary. Strasbourg adding to Frankfurt

Double leap forward: EuroZone celebrates twice its 10th Anniversary. Strasbourg adding to Frankfurt

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 14 January 2009

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Double leap forward when EuroZone celebrates twice its 10th Anniversary :
 
 
- Strasbourg 2009 adds Political dimension to Frankfurt 2008.



    EuroZone's rare privilege to celebrate ..twice its 10 Years Anniversary, first at Central European Bank's Headquarters at nearby Frankfurt on 2008, and now at EU Parliament in Strasbourg on 2009, saw a big Change :  From classic Monetary Stability to innovative Economic Policy...

    Nobody among the Chiefs of State or Goverment or Senior Experts who had attended the CEB's Summit, could have imagine what followed :

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    - Back on June 2008, the accent was placed, indeed, mainly into stressing the fact that a strict Monetary Policy was also "Social", because it protected the People from risks of abrupt Devaluation, of which they had suffered in the Past, as German Chancelor Merkel had reminded then.

    The image of People suddenly losing their jobs, Businesses desinvesting, Factories closing, Banks stoping to lend money, Stock Markets going astray, Funds going bankrupt, Hundreds of Millions disappearing like thin air, in brief : The Global Financial and Economic Crisis which followed since September 2008, seemed still unthinkable...

    And EuroZone's President, Luxembourg's Prime Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker's attitude to "EuroFora"s question on eventual perspectives for "EuroGroup" to acquire also a "Political" dimension, had been surprisingly moderate and low-key, as if he didn't really think that it might be desirable.

    At least that was the frustrating impression he gave us when we raised such questions with President Juncker also at EU Parliament or when he got a Honoris Causa Doctoral diploma" at Strasbourg's University.. This had surprised us, because it was in complete contrast with his, otherwise, voluntary, combative personality, fond of big challenges and great vision..

    However, even back in Frankfurt, at CEB's Headquarters, during its 10 Years' Anniversary, IMF's Senior Expert on Europe, Allessandro Leipold, presenting the conclusions of a check-up by the austere Washington DC Global Financial body, had already started to surprise :

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    IMF's diagnostics, while praising EuroZone's succes in achieving price Stability and building Confidence, at the same time, warned that Contradictions were growing and a Deceleration of Growth was possible : Therefore, FMI advised EuroZone to look after its own Cohesion and Economic Development.

    Joining the dots together, "EuroFora" had asked IMF's Senior Expert if this meant that EuroZone' countries should make "common European replies" to Global Market upheavels, (such as Oil or Food price sharp rises at that moment).

    Leipold's reply, even if it looked more like a "Yes !", was carefully covered by a typical Washington DC IMF's "diplomatic" foggy language, which left things rather vague and foggy. Wisely, he also postponed a definite appraisal for after the 2008 Summer...

    (A more detailed overview is available for EuroFora's subscribers).

    But now, January 2009, the change revealed at EU Parliament's special event for Euro's 10th Anniversary, organized in Strasbourg, compared its Frankfurt twin, was astonishing :

    The tone was given from the outset, when EU Parliament's President, German ChristianDemocrat MEP Hans Gert Poettering, described the succesful October 2008 1st EuroZone Summit, convened in Paris at the initiative of French President Nicolas Sarkozy :

    - " It wasn't merely a matter of Economy : The common European Decision proved that a Political Europe can exist !".

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    And here is "another", differend Juncker; now :  

    - "During its 50 Years, Europe often astonished by its capacity to formulate Great Ambitions, and also to develop the necessary mentality and Determination to apply, in a consequent way, the ambition it nourishes", he started.

    -  "Anniversaries have value only when they serve as Bridges for the Future" : "The Economic and Monetary Union is, certainly, an Economic project, but, above all, it's a Political project. In consequence, we must use the 2nd Decade of the Euro to finalise the Economic and Monetary Union by reinforcing its Political instances at the internal and external field", Juncker concluded.
    
    - " What matters most today is our responsibility for the Future. If New Challenges ..are faced with utmost Lucidity and Audacity, they can generate ..Powerful Ideas", concluded even the traditionaly auster CEB's President Jean-Claude Truchet..

    - "The symbol of integration which is Euro's success, must incite to advance further in the European construction... To the fatality of failure, let's oppose the Dynamics of Succes, called, here and now, Euro", added former French President, and Coordinator of the EU Constitution, Valery Giscard d'Estaing.

    But he also warned to avoid to give Euro "a Global dimension" : "Its a European Money and must express its specific Culture of reason and stability in the concert of other world money".

    Co-Rapporteurs German MEP Verner Langen and French MEP Francine Beres, added in the debate their main proposals, endorsed by EU Parliament earlier in Strasbourg, to "strengthen the Political dimension of the EuroGroup, both internaly and externally".

sarko_1st_eurozone_summit_12_octobre_2008_400_01

    In vain, Brittish Nationalist MEP Nigel Farad, speaking for the IND/DEM Group recalled the "old Soviet times"' facticious "plans", expressing "doubts" if the Euro will survive another 10 Years, and accusing the EU to "stuck" national Governments "inside Euro straitjacket", which will be "tested for the first time" during this Global crisis, as he said...

    He was contradicted by Greek Communist Kostas Droutsas, who blamed Euro to be, on the contrary, one of "Capital's tools to intensify the exploitation of the working class".

    The fact is that, during this first Month of 2009, EuroZone penetrated inside the first former "Socialist" country to adopt it willingly ; Slovakia. This incited the Czech Republic, currently chairing the EU, to move : Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek anounced this same week in Strasbourg that his country intends to adopt the Euro currency asap, preparing another change at Prague...

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    As for EU Citizens, they are obviously glad to be able to move accross 16 EU Member States without being obliged, no more, to change money at each border, wasting time and paying exchange percentages, as in the Past.. But they's certainly like for EuroZone to become able to protect them also from Financial and Economic Crisis..

    Finally, this "big change" was nothing new for Strasbourg :

    - It's as soon as 1995, during a visionary "State of the Union" debate at EU Parliament here, that MEPs were told that the adoption of the Euro would "pave the way" for the emergence of a Political Europe :

    By tranferring to a European level the national States' traditional capacity to stimulate Economy by augmenting the mass of Money put into circulation, the creation of EuroZone would inevitably create the need to transfet to a European level also a responsibility for Economic Policy, the 1995 visionary debate had concluded.

    - "Vote for the Euro, and afterwards we shall have e Political Europe. Because if a Political Europe does not emerge to monitor the Monetary Europe, the People will never accept it, never", as former EU Commission's President, Jacques Delors had said earlier, Prof. Alain Lipietz, spokesman of the Green Group in EU Parliament, reminded.

    But Strasbourg's Mayor, Senator Roland Ries, in a special anouncement, after receiving President Poetterings' invitees at Rohan Palace, reminded also that "it was since 1989" that former French President Francois Mitterand had launched a call in Strasbourg, joined by German Chancelor Helmut Kohl and others, to boost a European Economic and Monetary Union..

    1995 - 2009, or even 1989 - 2009 : In fact, it's not only Ten, but ..almost 15 or even 20 Years !

- Isn't it late enough ? Will History give to Europe more Time to waste ?

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   Renew Europe's Historic Legend with Parthenon's pure white marble at the eve of crucial 2009 EU Elections, was the ambition of an interesting Art Exhibition, with more topical Symbols than expected, organized by EU Parliament's 1st vice-President Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou and MEP Marie Panayotopoulos- Cassiotou, Chair of the Inter-group on Family policy, during March A session in Strasbourg.     

According to the Ancient Legend, God Zeus, charmed by young Girl Europe, was trasformed into a strong Bull with Wings, and when she tamed him with Human affection, they flew over the Sea to live together in a New Land with large, fertile landscapes.  


- "There, they saw the Continent with a "Large Front" ("Eureia -opse" in Greek => Eur-opse => Europe)", reminded the Sculptor, Mary Papaconstantinou, of the European Women Association, honored by awards in Paris, Athens and Strasbourg.

    Thus, Europe's Legend combines Symbols of Energy and Strength, with caring Human personality, to bring towards New, large Horizons :

    - "Modern Art for this Ancient Greek Legend here in Strasbourg reminds that Europe, placing Human dignity at its heart, always finds the strength to overcome any Crisis towards New achievements. And EU Parliament offers Citizens a chance to artfully interact", said MEP Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou.

 

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    Structured like some Rembrand's pictural sequences, Europe's sculptural exhibition forms a series of many statutes, sized and flat as a PC screen, representing many scenes inspired from the original Legend, "according to Moschos' text, a Writer of the 2nd century B.C.", said Sculptor Mary to "EuroFora".  

    Made by sparkling pure white Marble full of Symbols, they incite to think but also to act, as in front of a Book with half of its pages full of written text, but another half, free to write on white paper..

    While several EU politicians think that one of the most important characteristics of the 2009 EU Elections is that from their outcome may depend Europe's Identity and Future, Culture Minister of Greece, Antonis Samaras (a former MEP) send the message that, precisely, such modern Art linked to Historic legends may help "EU Citizens search the origins of Europe's Identity".

     - "The Legend says that they founded a New City, Thebes, and that reminds us that Europe is always a project of Invention and Creation", added EU Parliament's vice-President, Rodi Kratsa - Tsagaropoulou.

    Sculptor Mary Papaconstantinou said that she "tried for years to find the same White Marble from Penteli Mountain that was used by Praxitelis and all those who created Parthenon", symbol of Democracy and one of the 7 wonders of the World.

    - "By shaping this millenary Greek Marble to revive Europe's Ancien Legend with Modern Art, it reminds that Europe is a Hope for a better Future after Crisis, combining Energy for Development, with care for the Human person", said the sculptor's compatriot from Chios island, famous from French artist Delacroix's historic painting, MEP Panayotopoulos - Cassiotou.
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    She now lives with her Family close to Rhine river, at EU's heart, near Bonn, where had started to work for the first time on European issues the new EU Parliament's Secretary General, Klaus Welle :

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    By a symbolic coincidence, Europe's legend built anew with Parthenon's marble, marked for ever the beginning of young and energetic Welle's duties as new head of EU Parliament's administration, since he saluted the retiring, out-going S.G., the experienced Harold Rohmer, shortly afterwards, at another gathering on the same floor of Louise Weiss' superb building in Strasbourg...

    Organisers of both events said that it was a pure coincidence. People are free to believe them, or hope otherwise...


**********************

    They disagree in almost everything, except from one thing :

- EU Parliament's Art unites even opposed politicians in a common belief for Europe : Cyprus' example...


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Rarely united together, but posing for "EuroFora" with the statute of Europe and Zeus flying over the Sea, ChristianDemocrat/EPP's MEP Yannis Kasulides, a frontrunner Presidential candidate in 2008, former Foreign Minister and Government Spokesman, and EuroLeft's MEP Kyriakos Triantafylides, Chairman of EU - Palestinian Council delegation, from the governing party AKEL (new Left) of the elected President, disagree on almost everything, except from their common claim that Europe of the Ancient Legend, when she flew with God Zeus from Ancient Phynecia to the West, must have crossed the island of Cyprus !

Hard to prove the contrary, 3.000 years later...

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