For over a decade, the un-elected bureaucrats that run the European Union (EU) have slowly gained more and more political power over the nations that make up the continental coalition. And in a sense it is no different than the way Washington D.C. has treated the 50 states who according to the original Constitution, were to have the primary power over the federal government versus the other way around.
Following last month’s Brexit vote, there was a combination of both fear and arrogance by the bureaucrats in Brussels, who saw the potential of their power being eradicated if more countries chose to follow the UK referendum and take back their own sovereignty through a vote by the people. And many of them responded like petulant children, even castigating the British representative to the EC publicly as he was on his way out the door.
But rather than choosing to take a long look at themselves, and the destruction these EC officials have caused in countries like Spain, Greece, Italy, Ireland, and Iceland, they appear to be clamping down on their authority and are instead ‘eating their own’ by implementing new sanctions on two EU countries who have been in deep austerity for many years.
Eurozone finance ministers have decided to start sanctions procedures against Spain and Portugal for breaching EU spending rules, reports AFP.
Both countries are accused of not making “sufficient effort” to cut their budget deficits which, according to EU fiscal rules, should be no more than three percent of GDP. The criterion was introduced ahead of the euro launch in 1999 and so far no country has been penalized for breaking them.
Sanctions could be a fine of up to 0.2 percent of a country’s GDP and the suspension of commitments or payments from EU structural funds of up to 0.5 percent.
Spain was asked by Brussels to lower the deficit to 4.2 percent of GDP in 2015, from 5.9 percent in 2014, but Madrid ended up with a 5.1 percent shortfall instead.
Lisbon’s shortfall was 4.4 percent last year, a drop from 7.2 percent in 2014 and from almost 10 percent in 2010.
French Finance Minister Michel Sapin told reporters that Portugal “does not deserve excessive discipline.” He praised the efforts the country has made in recent years. Spanish minister Luis de Guindos said sanctions would be “sheer nonsense”. - Russia Today
The European Commission has done little to aid Southern continental economies since the 2008 and 2010 financial crises that ravaged much of Europe, and in certain cases forced these countries to accept technocratic leadership through the installation of un-elected bankers to their highest offices. And instead of renegotiating debts that in many cases were not the fault of the government’s themselves, they simply rolled up their loans to pay off private banks and forced austerity measures that have killed their economies and brought about massive high unemployment.
Three years ago during their time of debt negotiations, Greece should have been the first to opt out of the European Union when they had offers to join the Eurasian or Asean economic pacts following their exit. But political moves that created a wedge between their Prime Minister and Finance Minister ended with the country accepting Troika demands, and ensuring a deep depression in Greece for at least a decade or more.
Rather than bringing remaining EU nations together to reform or accommodate the needs of these countries, the EC is now doubling down on their authority and sanctioning union members rather than offering them solutions for their financial problems. And if the Brexit is any indication, these actions will only accelerate the end of the EU experiment, and send the Brussels bureaucrats packing to look for other places to become parasites with.
Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for Secretsofthefed.com, Examiner.com,Roguemoney.net, and To the Death Media, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.