Reinhard Bütikofer on Cyprus - "Everybody is losing in the bailout, bail-in deal"

Reinhard Bütikofer, EGP co-chair and MEP, responds to the current situation in Cyprus.

It is Tuesday in Brussels. The banks in Cyprus are still closed, but one thing has already become abundantly clear: everybody is losing in the bail-  out/bail-in deal that was found for Cyprus over the weekend.

The two biggest losers are obviously the Cypriot people on the one hand, and the European project, the project of European cohesion, on the other.

Of course, the Eurozone finance ministers have lost. They squandered a lot of trust and respect by first agreeing to a deal that would have taxed protected savings accounts of ordinary citizens.

The Cypriot government has lost by trying to hold on to a business model for their country, that has not been sustainable in the first place. The Cypriot people however, is standing to lose a lot, and it is looking forward to a very bitter near future, because the recession that is going to hit them as a consequence of this deal, is probably going to be very deep

But also the European cohesion has been impacted very negatively. I found it particularly appalling to see how gloatingly and triumphantly German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble commented this deal by saying he had finally got what he had wanted for a long time already.

I think we are probably at a turning point in this European crisis. Financial deals can be brokered, but the political will to come to agreement, to find compromises, to find solutions, seems to be decreasing all the time.

Cyprus has been handed a heavier, more burdensome deal by the Eurozone than any of the other countries before. The new chair of the Eurozone, the Dutch finance minister, first heralded this so-called solution as a template for other possible future cases. Then he retracted that statement, it shows that the are losing direction and they don’t know what they’re doing and where they’re going. One thing however is obvious, the will to compromise, the will to put yourself in the other side’s shoes, the will to have an understanding from the northern countries of what’s happening in the south, and probably also the other way around, is vastly decreasing. And if we cannot find a new political source for common effort, I’m afraid this Cyprus deal will be beginning of and endgame that is not going to be positive for the European project

I’m very skeptical, I’m very distressed, I’m very anxious. I hope that all my apprehension may be overly pessimistic, but I think what we really need is to return to a good common answer to a core question: Are we going to tackle this crisis together, or are we just pursuing national interests at the expense of others in the Eurozone and within the wider EU? This questions stands, I’m afraid we don’t have the answers yet, I’m afraid we may not find the answers in time. But if the European Parliament doesn’t take up these issues, if we here in Brussels just continue our business as usual, without issuing a clarion call to all the European players to come together for a new effort, then we will not be part of the solution, but part of the problem.

I hope we will be able to do better than that.

News type 



About 4 years ago

EGP must become an opened party to every european citizen. That's exactly what millions of desperate european citizens are note allowed to yet. Please consider how deep is their mistrust on classical national parties, and even if green ones aren't considered as old minded, they only offer a local wide vision of changes. At that level, only small hopes can grow up.

I fully agree on RB's purpose : we really reach a crucial point now with EU. This political system has turned to a battle field between states PMs, each of them hardly supported by national private decisions makers. EGP has to restore hope on a trully democratic european project, a trully federalist one, respectful of local cultures, the sole solution to input great and decisive changes. Without becoming a federal state, Europe's decision making process is far too disgusting to citizens, only able to provide austerity for them in the richest part of the world. The unique benefit of this collapsing sticky situation is to let all peoples think they are altogether one sacrified european people.

In the name of the common european citizenship, we must let them know that EGP accepts to become a true european party open to european membershipness. We can no longer stay a federation of local parties and only be "friends of EGP". Doing so, we will become the very first one in Europe, nailing out that there is a political solution to the crisis when promoting the rising of an efficient democratic federal state on the basis of a parliamentary regime. This will allow to stop national debts crisis, stop tax dumping system and give Europeans a 1 thousand billion Euros wide possibility to engage everywhere the Green New Deal. Thus the nightmare of poverty and obvious injustice will comme to end. Thus the fear to be responsible citizens paying for unresponsible ones will stop.

We have now to speek true : do all our national green parties agree on that ? Do they clearly understand that we can make a huge score in june 2014, if we everywhere stand for the very first paneuropean citizens' party, not only with the same flag but with the same clear purpose to change Europe's institutions first and then launch clever policies we can just think now ? Do they agree upon the fact that a huge fight is to be given to the Council by green EPMs to definitely change current unefficient confederalist institutions to a true federalist system ? And that the help and active support of a determined citizens' EGP is essential for that ? If yes, and I hope it will on May in Madrid, I'm quite confident that EGP will become famous not only for providing environmental sustainable solutions but also as the structural political crisis analyser that no conservative or contesting party can be. Even in our most beautiful dreams cannot we see the huge wave of hope that will carry us from every part of Europe if we succeed to overcome old minded nationalisms oursleves and let all citizens feel they really can be both varied and united altogether, and not condamned to hate each other while unresponsible politicians go on letting worldwide companies owners profit from them.

An other Europe is possible and deeply expected, it effectively only depends on the will and trust we can have and bring up...or not.



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