On Maastricht, Greece and Europe

7 September 2011

On Maastricht, Greece and Europe

In those February days of 1992 we stood at the gates of the government building in Maastricht. We stood there – almost twenty years ago – to demonstrate against the Maastricht treaty, which had been cobbled together inside.

Jan MarijnissenFor us it was absolutely clear that this treaty was the act of European business, in particular of the multinationals. All these restrictions and borders were, in their view, bad for business. At the time they made no secret of their desire to see a United States of Europe, with one government, one president, one market and one currency. United in the somewhat secretive association the European Round Table of Industrial, they cooked up a plan to take control of politics. Because there was obviously something to be overcome. After all, in this superstate Europe, what would remain of democracy? How would the people retain any kind of say?

Without this question having been answered, politicians almost without exception adopted the corporate agenda. The greatest monetary operation in the whole of history could begin. The single market and the single currency came into being.~

But those who sow the wind reap the whirlwind. The recklessness of the politicians would be punished by the laws of simple reality. A single currency for a single country means that the country in question has the power to conduct monetary policy, to revalue or devalue its currency. This power has been snatched from the hands of the member states. This, amongst other things, is what is now tying the hands of Greece and of Europe.

Idealism is a fine thing, but when ideals are not first of all filtered through the sieve of realism they can transform into their opposite.

Jan Marijnissen

You are here