As I wrote earlier, the recent events in European politics have blatantly shown that the elite is no longer even trying to uphold the semblance of democracy in Europe. Further evidence of this has emerged since as in both Greece and Italy new governments were instated without elections. Both new prime ministers have a background in the banking world, and you can bet your cojones that’s no coincidence. The slippery slope towards totalitarianism we’re on just got a helluva lot steeper. Here’s a quote from a good overview of the affair from Jérôme E. Roos:
“Last week, as bond markets rebelled over Papandreou’s unexpected flirtation with democracy, investors panicked and immediately turned their sights on Italy. Within a matter of days, Italy’s borrowing costs soared to the level where Greece, Ireland and Portugal had previously required EU bailouts. But unlike these smaller countries, Italy — the third largest sovereign debtor in the world — is considered both too big to fail and too big to bail.
And so Merkel and Sarkozy, backed by the financial firepower of the IMF and ECB, decided to take radical action. As one official confirmed last week, “we’re on our way to moving out Berlusconi.” Indeed, according to Fraser Nelson, “by last weekend, it was undeniable that an operation to remove Berlusconi had begun.” To begin with, Olli Rehn wrote a letter to the Italian finance minister demanding exact details about the 39 reform measures imposed by the ECB.
Meanwhile, further IMF inspections were announced to step up the pressure, and the ECB deliberately suspended its support by buying up a bare minimum of Italian bonds, all “to send an unmistakable Old Europe message: we have ways of making you quit.” Indeed, within days, the governments of both Greece and Italy had fallen, bringing an ignominious end to Berlusconi’s 17-year domination of Italian politics and the four-decade Papandreou dynasty.
The EU-sponsored coup d’étât is so transparent that even the pro-market Economist now confirms that “the immediate cause of [Papandreou and Berlusconi’s] downfall is plain: the ultimatum they received from euro-zone leaders at the G20 summit in Cannes to reform their economies — or else.” And so, just like NATO forced out Gaddafi, the EU has successfully forced out Berlusconi and Papandreou. If anything, this is the putsch of the century.
But a coup wouldn’t be a coup if its instigators failed to replace the overthrown tyrant with a puppet of their own. And so France and Germany further stepped up the pressure on the Greek and Italian heads of state. The New York Times cites a former top-ranking Italian government official as saying that Sarkozy and Merkel “privately urged Italy’s President, Giorgio Napolitano, to pick the technocrat, Mr. Monti” to form a new government.
The choice for Mario Monti and Lucas Papademos — both US-trained economists — as the new leaders of Italy and Greece has been justified with the argument that their expertise on financial issues will help them push through the necessary austerity measures and structural reforms to contain the crisis. The idea is to transcend “party politics” and subject national decision-making to the “rule of experts” with superior knowledge of the issues at hand.
In a ridiculously naive article, the BBC argues that “technocrats, by reputation, competence and experience, can persuade the markets and eurozone leaders that they represent change.” According to Marco Incerti of the Centre for European Policy Studies, “the markets and the international partners of these two countries are looking for concerted answers and determined answers and these can’t be provided by political figures.”
But, as future weeks and months will attest, there is nothing apolitical about having a neoclassical economist as head of government. In the end, as Heather Stewart points out, economic reforms and budget cuts are profoundly political issues, and technocracy is really just a thinly veiled nom de guerre for a much more sinister plot. In fact, the supposedly “neutral” Mario Monti and Lucas Papademos come with strong ideological and financial strings attached.
The son of a banker, Mr. Monti studied economics at Italy’s elite Bocconi University and at Yale. He sat on the board of multiple large multinationals, was an EU Commissioner, is a high-profile member of the shadowy Bilderberg Group, and serves as Italian Chairman for the Trilateral Commission — a think tank described by Piergiorgio Odifreddi as an “ultra-liberal American, European and Japanese Masonry inspired by David Rockefeller.”
To top the bill, Monti — who has been appointed to solve a crisis that started not in Italy but on Wall Street – still sits on the advisory board of Goldman Sachs. You can’t make this stuff up! To make matters worse, Monti is not the only supposedly neutral technocrat with ties to the “giant vampire squid“. Mario Draghi, the new ECB President, was European President for Goldman at the time it helped Greece obscure its true debt levels to allow it to enter the euro.
Lucas Papademos, meanwhile, is a former Vice-President of the ECB and also sits on the Trilateral Commission. Here, the connection with the ECB is particularly worrisome as the central bank is exposed to Greek debt to the tune of at least 45 billions euros. By planting a former Vice-President at the head of the Greek government, the ECB hopes to ensure that it will actually get all that money back. There is a blatant conflict of loyalties here.
Ultimately, as Richard Morris wrote for the New Statesman, Berlusconi and Papandreou were forced to step down “because the markets thought it would probably be for the best if one of their own was given the chance to run things for a while.” And this is the outcome: an unaccountable clique of bankers taking charge of the crisis. Robert Saviano astutely observed the irony of it all: “It is clear that the markets have succeeded where the electorate, the opposition, the media and intellectuals have not.” “