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Accueil arrow newsitems arrow Sarkozy slams Hasty EU+€uro Enlargement Past Deals (1999-2001) cause of Debt in Greece+ €uroZone

Sarkozy slams Hasty EU+€uro Enlargement Past Deals (1999-2001) cause of Debt in Greece+ €uroZone

Ecrit par ACM
Friday, 24 June 2011
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*Brussels/Angelo Marcopolo/- In what looks as a 1st move to start denouncing in public what "EuroFora" has criticized since 12/2009 as the real Cause of the Debt currently hitting Greece in €uroZone, and fight against it accordingly in order to become more Efficient, French President Nicmolas Sarkozy clearly accused Past Decisions (i.e. 1999-2001) related to EU's and €uro's Enlargements, even without due preparation, to be at the origin of present problems, at the eve of a crucial week for future developments, whose Policy Choices monopolized a quite Enigmatic Press Conference by German Chancellor Angie Merkel, at the end of June 2011's EU Summit :

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- In fact, at least if EU is limited just to the Measures already decided until now, for the moment, "we haven't finished to pay for (Past) decisions to Enlarge €uro and the EU !", Sarkozy denounced in reply to questions on Greece and €uroZone.

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- Particularly for those (EU/€uroZone's Enlargements) which were Unprepared, i.e. even "without having taken all (necessary) Measures on Economic Governance, comparable Competitiveness, Fiscal Harmonization, etc", the French President added topically, obviously referring to the recent EU Measures decided (after an initial Franco-German proposal, presented together with German Chancellor Merkel : See "EuroFora"s 12/2010 and 3/2011 NewsReports from Freiburg's and Brussels' Summits), from now on, for all Future EU/€uroZone Countries.

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+ EU Commissioner in charge of Economic/Monetary issues, Oli Rehn from Finland, had also recently criticized a German "Green" MEP, during an EU Parliament Committee's debate, for his Party's Past stance during the Schroeder/Fischer "Socialist-Green" Government coalitions around 2000, accused for having been "too Laxist" on the €uro area, (at the same time that they notoriously pushed for Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU bid)....

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A move which fits, perfectly well, "EuroFora"s critical Analysis and denonciation of the a 1999-2001 Politico-Financial Deal, according to which, the then "Socialist"" Greek Government had been helped to win (even with a razor-thin Majority), the 4/2000 Elections, thanks to an EU Decision for Greece's too early entry into €uroZone, even without having previously made the necessary Reforms in order to absorb, or at least diminish, a big and growing Debt, which had originated in a 1980-2000 Nepotist, Clientelist and largely Corrupted Era's Mass Hiring, mainly of cronies or lackey's of some politicians, in the State, Public Sector, Media, etc, often in counter-productive posts.

In "exchange", that former "Socialist" Government had to drop all earlier objections of Greece against Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU bid, (f.ex. on War Threats at the Aegean Sea and Territorial Revencications, Military Occupation of the Norhern part of Cyprus, serious Human and Rights Violations, lack of Democracy, Oppression of Religious and Ethnic Minorities, etc). But, as it is well known, the Debt notoriously hidden on 1999-2001 with technical Manipulations by USA's Goldman Sachs, False "EuroStat" Numbers, etc., suddenly, "blew" up under the 2008-2009 Global Financial Crisis and Speculators' Attacks.

So that now, the right remedy could not be limited just into taking Money from Production and/or from Poor People's Economies, which obviously risk to kill Growth, provoking Recession which would diminish the State's Revenues, and/or to risk dangerous social explosions by provoking a feeling of Injustice, respectively. It's much more vis a vis that Salaries' Mass of cushy-job holders and various cronies, lackeys, etc., hired by former mainly "Socialist" Governments during 1980-2000+, that actions obviously should be directed, in order to Stop Wasting precious Taxpayers' Money, reimburse eventually scandalously perceived for 2 Decades Public Funds, and avoid that this counter-productive Mass of Nepotism's Cronies, doesn' even get, now, some 2O or 30 Years more in Retirement benefits, etc. ...

I.e. a rare opportunity to join Truth, Justice and Morality together with Economifc Efficiency and Financial Economies, which could be strongly supported even by growing Popular Movements in Greece and elsewhere in the EU,  denouncing Corruption and failed politicians, even asking for Investigations in order to find and punish all those responsible for this counter-productive and Financialy catastrophic waste, without bureaucratic Time limits, nor Prescription or any other kind of Time Deadlines, until the situation is really settled. (See previous, relevant "EuroFora"s Publications, since 12/2009+).
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- But, meanwhile, "we (EU) had to deal with all that during a Global Crisis !.. inside a World where Billions circulate in an incredible Speed", and while "in Greece, Interest Rates grew + 30% in one and a half year, so that the Situation became Difficult, the Greek Government being unable to react alone", the French President observed.

- Nevertheless, in recent Economic issues, Europe succeeded to face the Global Crisis and prove its capacity to resist to all Crisis, €uro's parity to Dollar is largely Positive (1,40+), EU's Deficit is the Half of that of  USA's, and "until now, we succeeded to overcome all challenges", Sarkozy noted optimistically, observing also that, in 2 out of 3 cases, (i,e. in Ireland and in Portugal, unlike Papandreou's Greece), the Economic situation had been succesfuly brought under control, after EU reactions.
 
- "I am well aware of the Gravity of the Situation, ..but, all the times, we (EU) found a Solution, and Catastrophes were avoided, nevertheless", he added. + Moreover, "440 Billions €" are now guaranteed for facing such kind of problems, he observed, pointing at the adoption of the Permanent EU Stabilization Mechanism, officialy by this June 2011 EU Summit.
                
+ Indeed, Sarkozy's typical reaction to various attacks against EU's internal life, and on EU's Neighborhood, always was, from the start, to seize the opportunity of a Defensive Reaction in order not only to take care of the Urgencies, but also to Start Building something New in the EU, which would make it permanently more resiliant and stronger.

- "Naturally, it wasn't easy, with 27 Countries, 27 Histories, 27 Cultures, 27 Identities, etc"; the French President observed, hinting at the need to create 1 unique EU Identity; obviously indispensable for a Political Europe to exist.  

=> "There is really a (Political) Will to save the €uro" Currency, and "to ensure the Solidarity of €uroZone, which is extremely Strong", concluded Sarkozy.  
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+ Shortly afterwards, German Chancellor Angie Merkel was invited by several other Journalists to go further in details, as well as to consider various alternative solutions, and measures, according to eventual developments Next Week.

Merkel didn't have an opportunity to use exactly the same terms as Sarkozy (see supra), but at least some of her replies, left an impression that the German Chancellor might have started also to realize much more things than she said explicitly...
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 - "We (EU Summit)...have as Leaders once again very made it clear, that  will do everything to stabilize the €uro as a whole"; Merkel confirmed. + We agreed on the Permanent Stabilization Mechanism, the ESM, and we have managed to adapt the ESFSF. We are on the issue of economic Governance - that is, what is always referred to by experts as a "6 pack" - in the final meters and are in phase of agreement with the European Parliament" she noted.

+ And "We have encouraged the countries of Portugal and Ireland as well as Greece,to continue consistently the path that is dictated by the programs negotiated by the troika", she added.

- "Regarding Greece, we noted that Now the most important Laws on Privatization and Fiscal consolidation must be implemented, once these laws will be approved in the Greek Parliament", hopefully next week.


.  Once this done, EU will finalize, on the agreed "Basis",  the Basis .. for a "New Program, that will get the necessary additional funds from and Private sources, through informal and voluntary extension of the Greek current liabilities ...in order to achieve a substantial reduction of the necessary funds under the program, although of course the non-payment must be avoided. ", according to the decision earlier taken by EU Finance Ministers. ..                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
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    - Replying to a question on "the Greek Opposition Leader" Antonis Samaras (See "EuroFora"s earlier NewsReport from Brussels, yesterday), Merkel said that "there was ... an Agreement yesterday to allow the Legislative process in Parliament can begin", and, optimistically but carefully added that she was "quite confident".

    However, Merkel almost eluded a Journalist's question whether "it would be sufficient if the opposition leader said: "In Principle I agree with the Goals, but I want other Individual measures" ? 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - "My Talks with the opposition leader (Samaras) made it clear that for stability in Greece certainly it would be very Desirable if the opposition could also agree, as has happened in Ireland and how it has happened in Portugal. We have said yesterday at the EPP meeting with all clarity: the more consistent, the better for Greece, the better for the euro, and so much the better for us all"


    But, ">>>  The Greek prime minister (Papandreou) is determined to implement his ideas with a parliamentary majority in the Greek Parliament.

>>> - "Now we will see what will happen..... But again. Better a broader support" she concluded", once again giving a slight impression that this would certainly be good, but perhaps not so necessary as some say...

- "We (EU) must now proceed Step by Step with Greece", the German Chancellor added later-on, saying that she does "Not want to take position on the Talks", due to go on between EU Finance Ministers, the Troika, Private Investors and the Greek Government, preferring to see first Greece officially undertake its "obligations", "then, see the Total Sum" of Money really needed, and, afterwards examine "what can be achieved through a voluntary participation of the Private sector", later-on, etc.

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    However, Merkel appeared to approach, at least partly, a key observation by the Greek Opposition (ChristianDemocrat/EPP) Leader Samaras, (who mainly accepts, even stronger Privatizations and Economies, but asks to help Production in order to generate Resources enabling to pay back the Debt), in reply to an interesting Question on Greece's "Competitiveness" :
    
    - "EU Commission's presentation on "Europe 2020" showed that Greece was at (only) 0.53 £ of GDP on Research and Development, down at the lowest rank, flanked by Romania and Bulgaria. Do you seriously believe that there are sufficient parameters for Greek Economy's Competitiveness, in order to pull itself out of the crisis ?", another journalist critically wondered.

    - Merkel acknowledged that "it is a Fact that too Little is spent on Research and development" recently in Greece, but, in addition, "also ..that the Community funds - are not exploited - for example, from the Cohesion Fund", due to lack of Money in Greece to co-fund projects.
    
    - "Therefore, it is only right and proper and good that the (EU) Commission wants to Support Greece on this path", the German Chancellor replied, obviously referring to EU Commission President Barroso's proposal to ease the Financial Conditions allowing Athens to use the EU Funds already earmarked for Greece.

    + Concerning particularly "Research", Merkel positively stressed that, "of course, one must make so that participation in European Research projects funded by the European Research Council is indeed possible, based on Excellence criteria", and not merely on Money.

    =>"Therefore, an effort must be made at this point, of course, to allow Greece to strengthen its Competitiveness as well as possible. I am convinced that the people of Greece can certainly achieve that", Merkel pointed out. .
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    But, when she was questioned on "the Emphasis put on the Parliamentary Voting Next Week in Greece", about a proposed Long-Term Financial Package and its Conditions, "what might happen, if the vote goes against the reforms and the bailout?"; Merkel preferred to stick to "Assumptions", without "speculating" :
    
    - "I am assuming that everything is done to give to the Vote a Positive outcome, and therefore I don't want not even to Speculate", the contrary", she warned.
    
    - "I also assume that (EU) finance ministers at their meeting (shortly afterwards) on (Sunday) 3rd July, will settle all aspects, so that the solidarity aid to Greece can be solved", Merkel added, pointing at a Link between the Greek Parliament's Vote and the EU Finance Ministers' decisions.

    + Similar Caution was expressed by Merkel also on anoher Question concerning whether the forthcoming "2nd Aid Package" "will be Enough to stabilize Greece in the Long-run", or not :

    -" There is always the case that these aid packages are based on Assumptions ...about economic Growth, Revenu  assumptions, assumptions that have something to do with the World economy as a whole", etc. she observed.

    => That's why, "we must look again and again: Will things go as hey were supposed to do ?  This should be now further checked on a Quarterly basis", Merkel replied carefully. "We must look from quarter to quarter, even if the assumptions prove to be true"; she added.

     - "But I have confidence in the 3 institutions :'' in the (EU) Commission, the IMF and the ECB, to negotiate now to the best knowledge and belief, a program that has a Good Chance, and, then, to provide the Desired Results.. Now, that is negotiated to the best of my knowledge and belief of the parties', Merkel concluded, indicating anew that several decisions still remain to be taken in due course, according to forthcoming developments...
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    Meanwhile, the Official EU Summit's Conclusions "call on Finance Ministers to complete work ... to allow the necessary Decisions to be taken by Early July" (i.e. shortly after the Greek Parliament's Vote : See supra), while also warning that, "given the Length, Magnitude and Nature of the required Reforms in Greece, National Unity is a prerequisite for Success".


    However, until now, it seems to be a Fact that the only main point on which appears already to exist a large "National Unity" in Greece today (including for the Demonstrators currently filling Athens' central streets), is  particularly, the Need to Fight against Corruption in the Public Sector, i.e., precisely a key point according to "EuroFora"s above mentioned analysis. (See supra)...

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    At any case, "€uro area Heads of State or Government reiterate their Commitment to do whatever is necessary to ensure the Stability of the €uro area as a whole".


    - "The Recovery in the €uro area is Well on Track; and has reached a Sustainable path of Solid Growth", EU leaders stressed. "The €uro is based on Sound Fundamentals, and we are deeply Satisfied with the track record of Price Stability achieved Since the Inception of the €uro", they remind.

**

(NDLR : DraftNews, as already send earlier to "EuroFora"'s Subscribers/Donors. A complete and more accurate Final Public Version is due asap).

***
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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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