By Eric Zuesse
That’s the treaty establishing (which was originally done in 2012) the ultimate lending-fund for what the EU now officially considers to be a permanent economic crisis in Europe, of member-nations that are experiencing “severe financing problems,” and that are therefore continually ripe for asset-stripping by aristocrats.
It’s called the European Stability Mechanism.
It’s anything but that. Here is what it actually does:
In other words: it establishes the European bureaucracy to serve global aristocrats, so as to help them asset-strip the European populations of corrupt member-nations. These bureaucrats get transferred back-and-forth between this bureaucracy and the big financial institutions (which also are dependent upon the same billionaires), so that these bureaucratic servants of the aristocracy can themselves gradually emerge as aristocrats, basically joining (now becoming principals, no longer merely agents of) the aristocratic financial war stripping the public.
Here are some key provisions of this “Treaty,” or Europe’s (or the EU’s) new constitution:
Article 34. Professional secrecy. The Members or former Members of the Board of Governors and of the Board of Directors and any other persons who work or have worked for or in connection with the ESM shall not disclose information that is subject to professional secrecy. They shall be required, even after their duties have ceased, not to disclose information of the kind covered by the obligation of professional secrecy.
Article 35. Immunities of persons. 1. In the interest of the ESM, the Chairperson of the Board of Governors, Governors, alternate Governors, Directors, alternate Directors, as well as the Managing Director and other staff members shall be immune from legal proceedings with respect to acts performed by them in their official capacity and shall enjoy inviolability in respect of their official papers and documents. …
Article 36. Exemption from taxation. 1. Within the scope of its official activities, the ESM, its assets, income, property and its operations and transactions authorised by this Treaty shall be exempt from all direct taxes. …
It’s a “Mechanism” (basically, a government) to transfer to the aristocracy the public’s assets, which are the lands and pensions and healthcare and educational systems, which, in a democracy, are supposed to serve the public, but which, in an aristocracy, serve instead the billionaires. In Europe, aristocrats are still in charge.
For example, one confidential document, dated 11 June 2013, “Real Estate Based Asset Financing for the Hellenic Republic,” has this:
“The Hellenic Republic [Greece] holds a diverse collection of assets, many of which have been scheduled for sale as part of its commitments under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank [the three members of ’The Troika’], and the Hellenic Republic. The sale of state-owned assets is a one-off opportunity to raise capital for the Hellenic Republic [to be able to repay banks, which had lent to Greece at an 18% interest rate — and thereby already enriched aristocrats heavily at the public’s expense — and now retrospectively taxpayer-guaranteeing those junk bonds, which global aristocrats had bought through those banks, granting these 18%-interest-rate junk bonds a retrospective AAA+ equivalent taxpayer-guaranteed status, courtesy of the politicians who were supposed to have represented the public].”
Furthermore: “This would help increase the privatisation proceeds beyond the amount currently forseen in the MoU. The majority of the real estate is undeveloped land, with substantial potential,” which “potential” won’t be enjoyed by the Greek public via a future improved Greek national economy and increased tax-income into the Greek Government, but instead enjoyed by global aristocrats, who will be buying that “undeveloped land” now, before its value soars — so that aristocrats will be in on the rip-offs of the Greek public, both coming, and, now, going.
The document specifies that, “A large part of the Greek real estate portfolio is suitable for tourist development, and given Greece’s climate and leisure and holiday potential this is the key source of potential value for investors.” In other words: whatever desperate Greeks will still remain in Greece after all of the stripping of the assets of the state, will now become available, at rock-bottom subsistence wages, to serve tourists, while the billionaire owners, throughout the world, will be reaping the profits, from that land (including the beaches and new hotels), and from their slaves there (serving those tourists). This is commonly called “the free market”: the more desperate and poor the public (the Greeks serving those tourists) are, the more profit the aristocracy (the owners of those resorts) will receive. After Barack Obama’s coup overthrew Ukraine’s democratically elected President in February 2014, Ukraine’s soaring debt is already being treated this way (being set up for privatization), even before Ukraine joins the EU (if it ever will). Similarly, privatization followed the junta that Obama protected (if he didn’t even place them into power) in Honduras in 2009.
There is nothing basically new about this. Benito Mussolini introduced privatization in Italy during the 1920s. Admiring his success with that wealth-transfer to aristocrats, Adolf Hitler then took it up in Germany during the 1930s.
Nowadays, this is called “libertarianism” in the United States, and “neoliberalism” in Europe. It’s just standard economic theory, being put into political practice. Another term for it is “austerity” (as the public calls it), or (to employ the economist’s euphemistic phrase for it) “fiscal consolidation.”
What Mussolini and Hitler started, is now being put into practice increasingly around the world, but it is no longer overtly called “fascism.” Mussolini and Hitler were defeated in WW II, and so the label “fascist” needed to be changed, but the aristocracy, which financed fascists’ rises, has by now emerged victorious (in the U.S. and not only in Europe), using deceit (including these new labels), instead of relying upon mere bombs and guns. There are enough fools (‘libertarians,’ or believers in ‘the free market,’ etc.), so that victory comes far cheaper via such deceits (mental coercion) than via violence (physical coercion — coercion against the body). (But, of course, war, too, can be profitable.)
The entirety of the ‘Greek bailouts’ is bailouts of the aristocracy, not of the public; it’s just like America’s ‘Wall Street bailouts,’ which bailed out the banksters instead of the cheated MBS investors and homeowners. The ‘Greek bailouts’ were actually loans, not ‘bailouts’ at all; and after the loans turned sour, taxpayers were forced to buy them from the aristocrats, who were the ultimate recipients of the actual bailouts. The lenders never bailed anybody out, but instead were bailed out by the public. However, in the Greek case, the people who are blamed are the Greek public, who are being stripped. After all, such blame-the-victim is the natural response, for believers in ‘the free market.’ But it would be like blaming the stripped pension funds, and the underwater homeowners, for having caused the bailouts of Wall Street. Calling them ‘bailouts of Greece’ is the reverse of what they actually are, which is an ongoing stripping of the Greek public. (Other European publics should be angry against the aristocrats they’re bailing out, not against the Greek public, who never benefited from those loans, and who aren’t the people that socked away some or all of those borrewed funds into Swiss or other accounts abroad.) It’s like blaming a raped woman for having been raped. That’s conservative, in the extreme. It’s fascist.
The EU’s dictatorship is by the aristocracy, against the public. It’s just like the U.S. dictatorship — competing parties, both or all of which represent the aristocracy, against the public; none representing the public, against the aristocracy. Conservatives support it, because they support the aristocracy. (A reader replied to this, “it isn’t just the doctrinaire conservatives that support the new aristocracy it is the majority of the public”; but the majority of the public is conservative, they’re devoted to myths; so, that’s not contradicting my assertion, it’s just restating the tragedy.)
This is why inequality is high, and soaring. Democracy is disappearing.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.