#Catalonia: Madrid bankruptcy and EU27 insolvency

Anna van Densky, OPINION. The failure of Mariano Rajoy government to manage the political crisis in Catalonia, demonstrates the absence of real arguments to convince Catalans to stay in Kingdom of Spain, if  they had valuable reasons, we would have heard about them, and there would be no need to break fingers of voters to prevent them from dropping a ballot. It is time to admit: ‘The King is naked!’.

The UK government had a lot to offer to Scotland, so they were not afraid of a comprehensive discussion pointing at advantages for staying together. The Scottish referendum was a genuine democratic exercise of respect of right to self-determination. As a result the reason won over emotions, and seductive illusions.

On contrary, Madrid has no other arguments than to refer to the ‘law’, the Spanish politicians don’t want to change, and Constitution as if carved in stone. No one viable cultural or economic reason articulated, because they would be a pitfall of Spain: Catalonia has surpassed in all fields, and does not need to bow to Rajoy to ensure high living standards of their people, but it is Spain to lose the richest region of the Kingdom.

However those, who think about economy as a driving force of Catalan independence movement, are wrong, because it is strong national identity, that clashes with the Spanish dogma of superiority on grounds of historic ‘lineage’. It has been a long time, that Barcelona became a star among planet’s most prolific cities – one of the top 10 most visited tourist destinations in the world. The opulent cultural past and present converted Catalonia into a magnet for the artists, and Mecca of the art-pilgrims. But also students, attracted to Barcelona universities, and international schools, with UB as the leading education body of the country. In short, it is in realm of ideal that Catalans have taken the lead.

The  achievements of Catalans required a different kind of framework with Madrid, Spanish political class was reluctant to grant, responding with a riot police, leading to Rajoy’s  moral bankruptcy. The was hardly any newspaper’s front page in the world, without condemning decision to use force against peaceful Catalan plebiscite. The public opinion condemned Rajoy’s government choice of violence, but not the EU, referring to the issue as an internal matter of Spain. The failure of protection of Catalans as EU citizens, which is ‘legally’ central to the bloc, enshrined in all Treaties, means EU insolvency in issues of human rights. This betrayal of Catalan people by Brussels, opens the door to leave the EU without a regret.

By any means the in #EU27 Catalans will be donors, but not recipients, sharing their wealth with new member-states, the perspective which could be regarded in the framework of respect and recognition of Catalonia’s achievements, but not keeping them as subordinate second class citizens, risking to get their heads crushed if raising them. Ignoring the injustice, committed towards Catalans, the EU is a insolvent as a ‘Union of values’, applied selectively, and inconsistently. Praising  Kosovo ‘sui generis’, and Kiev’s Maidan revolution right to sculpture history, the EU suddenly switched to the ‘rule of law’ repertoire for Catalans when it suited its goals.

The hard work of Spanish police batons did it’s job, winning millions of friends of Catalonia all over the globe. There is no reason to fear unknown future, with Spanish banks leaving Barcelona in haste – there will be many of those eager to occupy the liberated spaces. Catalans won in people’s hearts, and there is no need to waste time  looking for fairness from the EU apparatchiks, because they are people who create history, not political chameleons in Brussels. #ViscaCatalunyaLliure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florence speech as Renaissance Fata Morgana

Anna van Densky, OPINION

Public speeches of politicians are not confessions,
even less can they be compared to an experience on
a couch of a psychoanalyst, and Britons can only hope
that the Florence speech of PM Theresa May
was a public relations moment, and not a roadmap
for #Brexit.
Even at first glance once can notice that the aims
of president of the EU executive body – European Commission –
Jean-Claude Juncker are opposite to May’s wish to achieve ‘Renaissance’
in a framework of a renewed partnership between
the UK and the reduced to 27 members bloc.

In his September state of the Union speech Juncker clearly
formulated the goals: a full-forward to the United States of Europe,
with mentioning Brexit in a sinister wow the UK would “regret” the
decision to leave the bloc soon. The intention to enshrine Brexit
as a negative example forever has been the only concept circulating
in Brussels corridors of power, where the EU diplomats
in ‘confidential’ talks would hint on only possible future
of London, and it was not a splendor of Florence,

but as declining Venice (or fall of Venice)Venice decline the inevitable poor fate of the rebellious  against Brussels bureaucracy Britons.

May’s calls for Renaissance are also utopia because of the United Kingdom
post-Brexit prosperity will set a precedent and give an example to many others, namely the old members of the EU to leave the block, reestablishing sovereignty – the ‘heresy’ leading to collapse of the United States of Europe project.

Certainly, the proposal to pay fee beyond Brexit May made is attractive
to the EU federal state architects, however it does not exclude
their profound concern with the post-Brexit success of the Leavers.
The best scenario for the EU would be to continue to accept the UK fee,
and diminish its political influence, meanwhile imposing ‘four freedoms’ dogma.
So Britons would obey Brussels, pay for the construction of the EU superstate, preserving de facto four freedoms, including the reception of migrants,
but without a political presentation in the EU intuitions.

A “wonderful woman” as president Trump rightfully characterised May for her many virtues,  has been already once lured into a trap by president Juncker, reportedly
convincing her to declare the snap elections she lost.
Calls for Renaissance in relentless search for compromise to satisfy the EU quenching thirst for power and finance, will certainly please Brussels,
happy to find in May a Remainer leading Brexit.
But do Britons need a head of government, bowing to Brussels in Brexit talks?

Henry VIII

Imagine Henry VIII proposing to Pope:
‘Look, we don’t believe you are an apostolic successor to Saint Peter, you holding the keys to Haven, etc, – so I will become the head of Church in my country, but
we continue to pay you for two more years according to previous obligations,
and then we create a new equal-footed
partnership for mutual benefit and prosperity.
Please, let’s go for Renaissance together!”

Would the pontiff accept it?
Ha-ha:)

Pope FB

French ‘Revolution 2017’

Marion et Marine

The major conclusion of the first round of the French presidential election is the marginalizing of the two major political parties: centre left and centre right – the Socialists and the Republicans – sharing power through the history of the V Republic. The period  of their reign came to the end, closing the whole chapter of the post WWII political development, which is a revolutionalry change as such.

The other crucial outcome of the elections is the evolution of the Front National from a marginal force into a main stream and, moreover, number one political party, because En Marche! of Emmanuel Macron is a rather broad movement, but not a classical political congregation one can regard as a party with an ideological core.

En Marche! is a young movement, which is captivating the protest moods of the French youth, disappointed in the major political forces, however there is no classical political congregation behind him. En Marche! is not represented in the Assemblée Nationale – the parliament, so even elected, Macron would find himself in a difficulty to deal with the other experienced political forces like Republicans, Socialists, and now, very likely, the Front National. This difficulty would be only aggravated by his lack of experience in dealing with the French political system.

On contrary to En Marche! Marine Le Pen leads a solid and well-defined political force, with a comprehensive plan for governing  the country.  One of her strongest points is a programme of defeating terrorism through curbing mass-migration, ending the system of double citizenship, revoking French citizenship from involved in terrorism, etc.

Till now Macron did not explain how he is going to addressed the security concerns of the French citizens, while keeping open door policy. This is one of the multiple inconsistencies in his programme. In case he will not be unable to guarantee the security, and the terroristic acts will continue to devastate public life, the position of Marine Le Pen will be solidified, and she will continue to raise in ranks.

The  failure of a big experiment called ‘Emmanuel Macron’, will not resurrect the Republicans or Socialists, who had a chance to govern the country already, and in case of the Republicans for a long period of time, but bring the electorate to a conclusion, that the only political force that had not had a chance to show its capabilities to ‘save France’ is Front National.

In the next presidential election the frustration in ‘Macron experiment’ might lead to the necessity to continue the experimental way.  If French are so disappointed in politics that they turned to unjustified belief in a miracle of Macron ‘The Savor’, what will prevent them to put their trust in Marion Marechal Le Pen as ‘The Maid of Orleans’?..

Anna van Densky

Tillerson’s visit as a glimpse of hope

Tillerson Moscow

The reception of State Secretary Rext Tillerson in Kremlin gives hope that the superpower leaders are prepared to assume their responsibilities towards global community, and stabilize the rapidly deteriorated US-Russia relations.

The high expectations of Russians did not come true – the change of the administration did not bring a major change in foreign policy. Whoever is the master of the White House, it is the  US military-industrial complex having the last say.  In this way Trump’s presidency will not become any different. Bowing to the Pentagon, Trump had to retreat into admitting that NATO is ‘not obsolete’. Acceding power, he had to follow the path of his predecessors,  meaning to stay in a rut of the US expansionist foreign policy.  We all have to come to the terms that none of his revolutionary anti-war proposals, captivating the moods of his electorate, can be transformed into reality,  and both Russian and American people have to live with that sinister truth.

In spite of the economic crisis the US launched without blinking a missile offensive on Syria – the firing a shot worth USD 88 mln  demonstrates that there will be no savings on military adventures. The offensive that also left in ashes the Kremlin hope of ‘peaceful coexistence’ of the nuclear superpowers.  Syria and Ukraine as the frontlines set ablaze.

Putin and Tillerson

However the pressure of the international terrorism still might push even those the most reluctant into a coalition with Russians. The rapidly spreading network of jihadists worldwide has no other solution, but a united effort.

Although the agenda of almost two-hour discussion between Putin and Tillerson was not revealed, it is certain that the anti-terrorist coalition proposal had its prominent place.

(Photo: illustration)

Rome Summit: Tusk as EU symbol of strife

SAM_1713

While EU Council president Donald Tusk (pictured) is preparing the anniversary  of the Treaty of Rome Summit (25.03.2017), focusing of the ‘unity’ message of EU27 in post-Brexit era, the argument over his own re-appointment ignoring Polish government’s  protest, remains open, poisoning the historic event.

Although the Summit is informal, the open confrontation with Poland over re-appointment of Tusk is a toxic issue, that would be impossible to play down or brush off. The EU diplomacy showed  poor judgment when suggested Prime minister Beata Szydlo (53) would have no choise but submit to the will the fellow EU members, openly imposing Tusk – an active political opponent of her incumbent government.   Szydlo, the miner’s daughter, showed a remarkable capacity to withstand punch, and audacity to retaliate, rejecting to sign the Council conclusions. If this pattern is chosen as a long-term strategy, it will mean, as long as Tusk chairs the EU meetings, Poland will continue to obstruct the outcome, not honoring a legal status to its decisions. This conflict over Tusk might not hinder the upcoming ‘informal’ Summit in Rome legally, but it will certainly harm its image politically.

While preparing the Declaration of the Summit in Rome, calling for ‘unity’ as a universal remedy from all kind of problems Europeans suffer, Tusk’s controversial chairmanship, weakens the message a priori.   “Taken individually, we would be sidelined by global dynamics. Standing together is our best chance to influence them, and to defend our common interests and values … Our Union is undivided and indivisible,” – Tusk’s draft declaration calls, making this words to haunt him like a bitter irony.

Being ‘an apple of discord’ between Poland and the rest of the EU, Tusk himself is a at most eloquent physical evidence of the profound crisis of the EU, and a symbol of strife and decline.

The draft, dated March 16 and prepared by the contraversial chairman of EU summits Donald Tusk, will pass by all the capitals  next week before being endorsed in Rome on the 25th of March.

Anna van Densky OPINION published in @EuropeDiplomatic

To celebrate the EU that humiliates?..

sam_6367With Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo rejecting to sign the EU Council conclusions over a bitter argument of the second mandate of the Polish official Donald Tusk, the approaching celebrations of the Treaty of Rome become less of a festivity, and more of a challenge. An obstacle to overcome. Is there anything left to celebrate?..

With the looming Brexit talks one might think it would be better to opt for a compromise accepting Polish concerns, and respecting the idea of the rotation, initially conceived for the Council president seat. It will not be so difficult to select another candidate among some many member-states, eager to engage in European construction, however the EU leadership has not been looking for the easy ways and common sense. From all scenarios is was a dramatic one that prevailed, and so a couple of weeks head of the celebrations of the Treaty of Rome we observe the eruption of one more conflict in what is already largely considered the European Nations Union going through its decay.
Beata Szydlo said all the EU crisis have a reason to be analysed. But some prefer to create new ones to forget about the previous. Indeed with new chronic conflict between the EU and Polish government, the Brexit negotiations shifted to the mis-en-scène. Just a few noticed the UK Prime-Minister Theresa May made a shortcut to the meeting room, avoiding the press. Each new conflict makes the previous one less painful. With Beata Szydlo, challenging the EU establishment as Calvin of our days, all the rest falls out of focus.
If not this argument she would not a have reason to stand tall, and we, as the public to feel ourselves so small, awaiting for the smoke to come out of the chimney to scream ‘Habemos Papa!’
A good reason to reflect upon in coming days before the celebrations of The Treaty of Rome. It the EU that humiliates the one we are ready to celebrate?..

Juncker “melancholic” on the EU future

US-ECONOMY-IMF-WORLDBANK-SPRINGMEETINGS

Launching a debate on the future of the European Union, and subsequently the entire continent, Jean-Claude Juncker (pictured) – the president of the European Commission – has offered Five scenarios (5S), however none of them even hinted on a ‘catastrophic’ one – the  case of French or/and Dutch citizens would follow #Brexit way.

The front-runner for the presidency of France, the member of the European Parliament (MEP), the leader of Front National party – Marine Le Pen has integrated #Frexit – the referendum on France’s membership in the EU, – into her political project. So did her Dutch counterpart the leader of Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) Geert Wilders, who is enjoying high esteem of the electorate, foreseeing strong presence of his party in the Parliament in The Hague after the upcoming 15th of March general elections, opening the way to #Nexit referendum.
It is not that as press we want you to say “bad things” about MEP Le Pen, as you suggest, Mr.Juncker, it is about your readiness to continue to lead the #EU26, or even  #25, if Dutch and French follow #Brexit, preferring freedom to the EU institutional cage, prescribing everything from shape of cucumbers to open door migration policies, flooding streets of European cities with strangers from the violent cultures. The policy of open doors so dear to the institutions you are not going to give up at any cost, disguising it in ‘solidarity’ – the fundamental EU virtue. More migrants, less believers in cultural relativism, nostalgic about the times ante-Schengen with well-protected borders…
However, some things have changed already. Most probably, the European Commission mandarins understood that it would be better for everyone, if they concentrate on ‘important’ issues, leaving the details to the member states – the ‘efficiency’ option nr 4 among the 5S plan? They understood it or, they do  it is because the ‘instinct of life’ dictated them to do so, hoping to survive the period of low tight?..
Too much disappointment has accumulated into a toxic mass: with the south of Europe in lethargic misery under austerity policy, and the industrial north of ‘lenders’ unable to develop as fast as they wished to, obliged to level their pace with all the other EU members in a ‘solidarity’ name. Is Juncker’s nr.3 ‘mulitspeed’ Europe an answer? Hardly so, as the creation of the sub-unions would lead to ‘structured dismissal’ of the initial EU bankrupt project – promising prosperity it lead to poverty too many; promising peace, it set its neighbourhoods in blaze…
Finally the EU scenario nr 5 – ‘Doing Much More Together’, but after #Brexit it sounds even more fiction, that four previous ones all together. How many believes in  the EU ‘togetherness’ one can count in the beginning of 2017?.. How numbered will they be by the end of the year after the elections in the member states? The Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy…
Juncker’s striking ‘melancholy’ look replacing his personal warmhearted and extrovert style did not escape the MEPs, questionning his personal beliefs, but the president has every reason for melancholy – the l’époc d’oré of the European project is bygone, and discussing the EU obsucure future is not a euphoric exercise, especially knowing that the 6th scenario cenzored:  ‘no future’.
(Initailly published in @BrusselsDiplomatic)