Campaign Against Euro-Federalism (CAEF)Statement on Greek, “No!” vote

caef@caef.org.uk

Greece No! to austerity

CAEF statement [7.7.15]

The position of the Greek Government and No! vote to austerity in the referendum does not alter the eurozone operation or the thrust of the EU to ‘an ever closer union’. Despite this we applaud and welcome the No! vote.

The Greek Government is for retaining membership of both the EU and eurozone which has all but strangled the Greek economy and impoverished the majority of the Greek people.

No doubt a compromise is being sought and will take time, a lot of horse-trading and painful arm twisting will take place behind closed doors. Greece has been told to propose a viable plan to incorporate paying back their creditors who got Greece into the mess in the first place. These include both German and French banks as well as the IMF. If the current Greek government rejects eurozone plans it could walk away from the ‘talks’ and resign. Then, either a far right government will take control or an EU imposed technocrat government will be installed in Athens. Either way yet more severe austerity will be put in place.

The role of the European Central Bank as the major eurozone institution is to apply rules and conditions to maintain the euro. If the ECB lets Greece ‘off the hook’ other eurozone member States will follow suit, some of whom have said the rules should be relaxed and more money lent to Greece to keep them in the eurozone.

The Greek referendum has rejected more austerity and shown clearly to the world what the EU institutions are really for. It proved that one aspect of democracy does actually work, but isn’t the final solution. although we applaud the No! vote it’s not enough to be against austerity. It has to be against the whole EU juggernaut. In part the current euro crisis dates back to the 1992 Maastricht Treaty where the eurozone was agreed. This included the severe restrictions on public sector spending and government borrowing where the ECB decides the exchange and interest rates which are two key factors in controlling an economy.

Even though Britain with Denmark had an opt-out from the eurozone, successive UK governments have applied the strict criteria. That led to PPP and PFI, with huge financial problems for the NHS, as well as handing practically everything from the public sector to the privateers and transnational corporations.

The problem Greece faces can be solved not just by leaving the eurozone but quitting the EU as well. It is of course for the peoples of Greece to come to that conclusion and use democracy and politics to end the decline of the economy and all forms of austerity. In a like manner the Greek government could do no better than Iceland and adopt a policy where the avaricious creditors are not paid back their ever-growing mounds of paper money. Incidentally Iceland has decided to withdraw an application to join the EU.

This goes for Britain as well where it is not enough to just be against austerity but to be against the whole EU juggernaut. It is no use shouting from inside an EU prison van on the way to a more secure jail. The object is to get out of jail altogether which entails making Britain an independent nation-state with an economy based on manufacturing, trading across the world, including EU Member States, with control of its own borders. This avoids Britain being shackled by EU common policies, directives and regulations. That course means much discussion to bring about unity to form and build a campaign to win a No! vote in the forthcoming referendum.

{further information – Johnn Boyd, CAEF Secretary}

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