An Open Letter from Former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Source: Il Sole 24 Ore, July 26

Dominique Strauss-KahnIt is to those that I now speak; to my German friends who believe in the Europe that together we once wanted; those who believe that a European culture exists…. Forged in this peculiar alloy, a blend of individualism and egalitarian universalism….

We are the custodians of that culture…. Don’t tell me you expect to save Europe simply by imposing rules of sound management…. Falling back on the North will never suffice to save you. Like all Europeans, you need the whole of Europe to survive, divided we are too small…. To survive among the giants, Europe will have to bring together all the territories contained between the ice caps of the North, the snows of the Urals and the sands of the South….

Amidst all our internal conflicts, we are looking only to the North and we are forgetting the South. Yet it is the cradle of our culture. It’s what will bring Old Europe new blood in the form of the young generations.

Turning a Page in Europe: The Greek Precedent

Alexis TsiprasGreek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reacts during a parliamentary session in Athens on July 16. The Greek parliament passed a sweeping package of austerity measures demanded by European partners in order to keep near-bankrupt country in the euro zone. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Lefteris Kretsos, the Greek government’s communications chief who is charged with justifying the deal to his fellow Greeks, was on CBC’s Sunday Edition yesterday (July 26). He made several points.

The Greek government accepted the austerity package because it had no choice. Bankruptcy and Grexit would have been disastrous. The government was elected to protect the interests of Greece’s working people. It has done so.

A number of cabinet ministers have resigned in protest. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras must now rely on members of the opposition to pass legislation.

The government is determined to fight corruption and introduce real reforms.

The recent negotiations with the creditors were not so much about economics as about politics. “Brussels” pro-austerity governments are generally centre right. Tsipras’s Syriza party came to power on an anti-austerity platform and is left-wing.

Brussels wanted to “buy” Greece.

It is to be hoped that recent events will lead to fundamental reforms in the governance of the European Union and make it more democratic.