13:41 GMT24 January 2021
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    Berlin is dictating its will to the indebted EU member states, meddling in their domestic policies and violating the core principles of democracy, a former economic advisor to the president of the European Commission notes.

    Ekaterina Blinova — Berlin has transformed the European Union from a union of democracies into an "empire," imposing its will on the indebted Eurozone periphery, a British analyst notes.

    Philippe Legrain, a former economic advisor to the president of the European Commission, expressed his growing concerns regarding evident constraints imposed on democracy in the Eurozone by Germany and Brussels.

    The author is citing German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble, who claimed ahead of the Greek elections in January 2015 that "new elections change nothing." And he was right: regardless of their electoral pledges, Greek authorities have been forced to accept the bailout conditions, voiced by the "omnipotent" German finance minister.

    Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission (EC) vice president for the Euro and Social Dialogue
    The analyst underscored that Greece's issue is not the only one: in almost every election since the financial crisis of 2008 European voters "have thrown out their government, only to be told by Schauble and his Eurozone minions that the new administration must stick to the failed policies that the voters have just rejected."

    When Francois Hollande assumed the presidency in 2012 he vowed to end austerity. However, he was immediately forced by Berlin to reinstate the unpopular measures. In 2014, Italy's reformist Prime Minister Matteo Renzi demanded changes to the Eurozone's fiscal policies to increase investments into the Italian economy. Alas, his demands were rejected by Germany and eurocrats. Moreover, back to 2011, Eurozone authorities even reposed the elected prime ministers of Italy and Greece, replacing them with "pliable, unelected technocrats," the analyst stresses.

    According to Philippe Legrain, German banks manipulated financial flows, entrapping the European governments via their lending programs. Thus far, heavily indebted nations, including Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland have actually lost their sovereignty.

    The analyst claims that it was the irresponsible financial policies of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government that exacerbated the EU economic slowdown. According to Legrain, Merkel has violated "the Maastricht Treaty's 'no-bailout' rule, which bans member government from bailing out their peers," placing the interests of German banks above of those of Europeans.

    "If only German voters realized that Merkel and Schäuble have lied to them and sold them out, they wouldn't fall into the nationalist trap of blaming the Greeks for their own banks' and government's misdeeds!" the analyst emphasized.

    Philippe Legrain warned that eurocrats are themselves pushing European voters to the "right-wing" political extremism. The Eurozone was established as a union of democracies, not an empire, reminds the author.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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