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The 5 stages of Brexit: Denial-Denial-Denial-Denial-Denial by Thanos Kalamidas

What’s wrong with May and Brexiteers’ policies towards Brexit? Denial for sure and the fact that they think that they play chicken with Brussels. To make it worst while the EU member states had two years to prepare themselves and Union’s economy for the unavoidable, UK was still trying to figure out if and what will be the consequences from the Brexit, often beleiveing that they are …invisible. Sadly, months before the final day reality haven’t reached them yet. They still …play.

The whole situation reminds something we have already lived in Europe three years ago with Greece in the role of the protagonist. Creative calculations, accounting and a lot of imagination had made the Greek government and especially the then finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, (an academic theorist of the economic game-theory) to believe that the rconomic losses EU was facing in front of a Greek bankruptcy were going to be so dramaticaly damaging that the eurozone would actually cut the debt into half and free Greece from the prospect of the torturous memorandums.

may01_400That was the theory behind the chicken game Greeks tried to play back then and it started in February 2015. By May 2015, just three months later, all the EU states and their banking systems were fully prepared for a Greek bankruptcy. Actually the entire banking universe was prepared for a Greek bankruptcy, except the …Greek government.

By the end of July 2015 Greece was deep in the memorandums with the banks in capital controls and the Greek people marching in mass to poverty. The Greek state didn’t bankrupt but the Greek government did and normality will never return to Greece; in fact the Greek people since then have learned to live in a new reality nobody envies.

But UK is not Greece, you might say, from every single angle you might look at it. Might have fallen into the ninth place in the world’s largest economies; but still there, on the top ten. And in theory this is good news if your competition didn’t come from the tenth which is an EU member state in the verges of bankruptcy due to foreign debt followed by the Brazilian economy with the known complicated political problems due to constant corruption. Strange company and far away from the top eight.

However still on the top ten; an industrial country with huge exports and a huge – somehow private – market to consume British goods, the Commonwealth of Nations. Although some of the member started having their own market power reaching for their own consumers far away from UK’s Commonwealth like India, South Africa or Nigeria. Oddly some of them like Canada and Pakistan make independently their own deals with EU far away from the British …influence. And these are just sings that the prospects from theory to practice might be a little …distant.

Theresa May, with or without the cycle of the Brexiteers like Boris Johnson, started the negotiations projecting the idea and the attitude that UK is a superpower empowered from the illusion that the spirit of the old British Empire was still alive. It is dead, they went to the funeral long time ago but sadly they still don’t believe it. And that’s another brick in the wall Theresa and her colleagues Brexiteers have built with EU. Actually that makes in a weird way funny a complain she expressed after the Salzburg summit, that the EU does not …respect Britain. Oddly she did all these complains after her return to London, obviously it was all a show for the tabloids and nothing more. Theresa knows that there is no success story in Brexit and she just tries to survive the mess.

Bottom line, while EU went through all the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance in one year and bit, having plenty of time to spare, UK got stuck with denial and months before the end they are still there.

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Wolfgang the bitter by Thanos Kalamidas

ovicover_11_02_17.gifAll it took was a series of comments from Wolfgang Schäuble, the German Federal Minister of Finance, and a survey from the German magazine Stern, to make September seem very close even though February is only in its second week. The next German federal elections which will elect chancellor are planned for the 24th of September, with main protagonists the chancellor Angela Merkel – leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) – and the former president of the Euro-parliament and leader of the Socialist Democratic Party (SDP), Martin Schulz. Funny thing now, the person who feels more insecure with the coming elections is nobody else than Wolfgang Schäuble.

Stern magazine’s survey last week showed a dramatic raise of the SDP, especially compared with the 2013 federal elections that brought Angela Merkel in chancellorship for a third time and with a landslide victory of 41.5%. Actually the survey shows that if elections were going to happen this month and the voters had to simply choose between the two competitors, the battle would have been very tight. It seems that Martin Schulz’s euro-parliament presidential period did really good to him internally. However odd it might sounds, internally Schulz looks far more …chancellorial than Merkel.

Angela Merkel’s characteristic: “think well before you act”, might worked in the beginning of her chancellorship and after her often famous for their spontaneous decisions predecessors, but twelve years are too much and a lot of things have changed in between. Her “wait and see” attitude served her well when she was first elected. It was a period Europe was thriving, growth numbers were making records globally, the new currency seemed to be dollar’s alternative and answer and Germany was back in track after a difficult unification. Actually Merkel was a child of this unification and she could totally empathize with the wills and wishes of that other Germany; plus the fact that her stronghold had always been the former east-German areas.

But that worked while everything else was working. The second decade of the 21st century came with a few surprises that couldn’t wait for Angela to think well. First the euro crisis, followed closely by the Greek crisis. Europe suddenly was found in a turmoil and one crisis just followed the next. Angela Merkel could not lock herself into internal political walls and ignore what was happening in Europe. Actually she was trapped since she invested in euro with the strong Deutsche Mark. The German mark was the main foundation for the pan-European currency. Then Germany became the most powerful European state, economically, politically and militarily, despite constitutional issues for the military part. Angela Merkel, whether she liked it or not, became the leader of Europe and the more problems raised the more Europe needed her to take decisions that would cover the whole union.

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!

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The Latest Deranged Project of the Caligula Presidency by Dr. Emanuel Paparella

“I had in a previous career a diplomatic post where I helped bring down the Soviet Union. So maybe there’s another union that needs a little taming,”
–Ted Malloch (Proposed US ambassador to the EU, in a BBC interview)

trump01_400_02The above outrageous statement was uttered by the candidate interviewed by President Trump as a possible ambassador to the EU. He is a crass businessman, of course. That interview represents the latest outrage, within ten short days, of the scary regime by an unhinged imperial presidency.

His imperial majesty, in fact, does not call the EU by its proper name but as “The European Consortium” to be treated on a transactional level with which to make deals, as he does with everything else in his life.

The EU leaders are alarmed by this display of sheer hubris and ignorance. They met for a summit in Malta to discuss the matter and have preliminarly agreed to reject Malloch’s candidacy, should he be nominated to the position, declaring him a persona non grata. Obviously the goddess discord has arrived on Mount Olympus at the summit of the transatlantic alliance; and we know well what happens when she arrives.

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!

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Europe in get-ready mode by Thanos Kalamidas

ovicover_04_02_17.gifOdd but Theresa May thinks that she found a new way to press her European semi-former partners for a Brexit on her rules by apointing herself …mediator between EU and Trump. The question now is if the EU needs a mediator with Trump, if Theresa May can be this mediator and how big problem Trump can be for Europe so the Europeans need to seek for a mediator.

Today the 28 European leaders meet in an unofficial summit in Valletta, Malta, with a series of issues to talk, most of them behind closed doors. Trump is not an official priority. Refugees is the official priority and Ms Merkel has a lot to say after meeting the Turkish president Erdogan and his indirect blackmails. Turkey has become a very sensitive issue for the European leadership after Erdogan took off his democratic veil. They have to balance somehow this relationship otherwise Erdogan will make true his threat (and he has exhibit already that he can) to flood Europe with refugees. This is the one side, the other side of the same coin is that Erdogan is an untrustworthy neighbour with questionable even personal aims that have nothing good for Europe. And the Europeans know it. Plus that it is clear by now – including the reasoning for the Brexit – that the Europeans don’t want Turkey in EU despite all reinsurances from some European leaders.

Until now, Europe managed to diplomatically bribe Erdogan or better buy his cooperation with millions of euros and favours but Erdogan has become greedy and nothing seems to satisfy him anymore. The fact is that doesn’t matter how much and for how long you feed a blackmailer, since they see the blackmail working they keep asking for more and more and this minute EU is the victim of a blackmail which somehow has to end. This somehow has to be a united political decision, ready for the consequences and the platform for this decision has to be laid now, in Valletta so everybody can be prepared.

Read the whole article in Ovi Magazine, HERE!

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Greece: STALAG 13 by Nikos Laios

ovicover_05_03_16Greece has been turned into an open-air internment camp, a German style stalag where increasingly tens of thousands of refugees are finding themselves trapped in Greece unable to continue their journey northwards to Germany. Poor desperate souls who are streaming into Europe to find asylum and an escape from the hell of war, starvation and privation with a vision of an idealized utopia that they are unfortunately finding is not real. Families, young people, the aged and crippled with some making the journey to Europe in wheel chairs. All these poor bedraggled souls who thought they could find humanity and compassion in Europe, who now find their dreams and visions foundering on the white-washed dazzling shores of the Aegean. Where only this last week two refugees attempted to hang themselves in a downtown city square in Athens out of desperation at the shattering of their illusions.

While the rest of Europe haggles and argues over their obligations as civilized nations to the human rights of these poor wretches, poor Greece goes about the job in humility every day at plucking refugees out of the cold wintery waves by fisherman who should be harvesting the seas to feed their families, who are now harvesting the ocean of the unwanted human detritus. Not flinching for one moment at their moral and ethical obligations to show compassion to their fellow human beings; the old and weathered Greek grandmothers who sit in their chairs of the courtyards of their homes in their easterly Greek islands caring for the very young refugee children. Providing some warmth and shelter to young families – where though language is a barrier – find that love knows no boundaries; or the everyday Greeks who volunteer and provide the refugees with the basic necessities. These same Greeks who have seen their wages cut, or their pensions drastically reduced, these same Greeks who can barely feed their own children who sometimes go to school without having eaten. These Greeks who are labouring under the cruel and inhuman enforced punishment of fiscal and economic austerity by their callous fellow Europeans and the international banking system. It is my fellow Greeks who whilst labouring under this austerity are unflinching in showing warmth, compassion, humanity and dignity to the desperate war-torn refugees.

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