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I should probably clarify:  When I say he's wedded to the idea of the EU, I really mean the eurozone.  Varoufakis seems to think they should have both.  In theory I might agree with that under the right circumstances.  In practice I think it's clearly unworkable.

I think Greece's insistence on remaining in the common currency is, far and away, the most likely avenue to unleashing a fascist regime in the future, and that Yanis should've set about immediately to convincing Tsipras to allow him to put a plan for exit from the euro in place ASAP.

I'm entirely with him on opposition to Brexit.  I still don't understand what the hell the Brits are on about.  "It makes it easier for you guys to hop on a plane and go get wine-drunk and annoy Spaniards.  What's the problem?"

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2016 at 11:15:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
I still don't understand what the hell the Brits are on about.

The privileged elite (at least, part of it) firmly believes they'll get a free-trade deal à la Switzerland or Norway that will allow them to enjoy all the benefits of EU access without the encumbrances: Britain demands. The EU will comply.

Dr Wolfgang (and others) might disagree.

by Bernard on Wed Apr 6th, 2016 at 03:31:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Switzerland? All the benefits of EU access? Really?
Switzerland is no longer part of the "Champions League" of European research. Scientists tell swissinfo.ch their future is uncertain following the European Union's decision to exclude Swiss institutes from funding within its flagship research programme.

[...]

But all this was thrown into turmoil when as a consequence of an anti-immigration initiative - approved by voters in February - the European Council excluded Switzerland as an associate member, suspending cooperation between researchers from Swiss institutions and their European partners and putting a hold on funding within Europe's Horizon 2020 research programme.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Apr 6th, 2016 at 03:39:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right, but what are the encumbrances?  That's what I don't really get.  What is it they're so pissed about all the time, beyond some sort of vague bit about "unelected bureaucrats telling us what to do" stuff?

I know they're more entangled with the EU than the Swiss, but how much of a burden can that possibly be to warrant all the outrage?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Apr 6th, 2016 at 05:23:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Once the "unelected bureaucrats telling us what to do" bogeyman can no longer be used, how are they going to keep the Scum and Fail readers angry?
(Gee, we hadn't thought of that...)

I'm not too worried: I'm sure they'll find a way to blame Johnny Foreigner nonetheless.

There's also the EU budget, of which the UK is a net contributor, despite Maggie "I want my money back", that benefits poorer EU countries: Ireland, Portugal & Greece in the 80s, Eastern countries now.

by Bernard on Thu Apr 7th, 2016 at 03:03:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After the Greek debacle and the refugee treatment it's increasingly hard to fathom what the EU is for, let alone what holds it together, or why anyone except the Eastern Europeans would have any faith -or want to stay- in it.
If they hadn't made it so difficult to leave probably several nations would have bailed by now, especially if referendums were held.

The troika has made few friends, indeed it has not even seen the sense in trying to. Their job needs no marketing, they're the cleanup crew who leave the place worse than they found it.

I kinda hope the UK does leave, it might induce some self-critical reflection in Brussels. Anything but this entropic crumbling amid political inertia. About the only semi-credible ideational alternative is Varoufakis, and he's got quite the job ahead of him convincing a largely ignorant, linguistically challenged populus of 500 million souls to reverse neoliberalism and its attendant brain rot.
 .

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Apr 7th, 2016 at 05:53:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, check it out, the Tories are screaming "No taxation without representation."
by rifek on Thu Apr 7th, 2016 at 08:55:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, they mostly are screaming "no taxation".

Any addition is purely decorative.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Apr 8th, 2016 at 02:23:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This belief in their inherently strong bargaining position for keeping all the advantages of EU membership is pretty mystifying.

It seems logical to me that, when finance sector operators think about relocating from the City, France and Germany will be falling over themselves (and stabbing each other in the back) to accomodate them.

What am I missing? What are the downsides for the EU in giving short shrift to the UK's attempts at keeping its EU advantages? Will the 25 cave, and give the UK most-favoured nation status?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Apr 8th, 2016 at 01:03:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I had a vision earlier of an England, rejected by the EU in referendums - including Ireland - with an ongoing battle about Scottish independence or a unilaterally independent Scotland, an active Welsh independence movement, reactivated troubles in Northern Ireland, an isolationist US and bits of the City falling off.

The rest of us might be very glad they have no steel manufacturing capability left ...

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 8th, 2016 at 01:22:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The rest of us might be very glad they have no steel manufacturing capability left ...

You mean the Yanks won't save them?
 

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 9th, 2016 at 11:20:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Indians won't save them, you mean.
by Bernard on Sat Apr 9th, 2016 at 02:12:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Take a look at our "salvation" record (Central America, Philippines, Indochina, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Chile, etc., etc., etc.), and you would conclude that having us come to the rescue is a country's worst nightmare.
by rifek on Tue Apr 12th, 2016 at 11:19:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hence Drew's sig line...
by Bernard on Tue Apr 12th, 2016 at 02:53:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A lot of it is the continuation of the right wing divide and conquer policy. In the US the xenophobia is targeted at minority groups. In the UK, it's targeted in all sorts of ways, and filthy Europeans are a natural part of that. And the tabloid media base their sales on screaming at someone - the garlic and wine swilling continentals are a historic target.

The referendum is as much about internal Tory manoeuvres for power as any disagreements.  

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 8th, 2016 at 05:39:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
>I think Greece's insistence on remaining in the common currency is, far and away, the most likely avenue to unleashing a fascist regime

You say that like it's a bad thing.

>I still don't understand what the hell the Brits are on about.

The Brits are being sold a glorious return to proud imperial sovereignty, with no more bullying by greasy foreigners, and a Cross of St George and a white van for all.

The reality is the Tories want to sell off education and health care to the Americans, and also turn the UK into a capitalist paradise with as few worker protections as possible. The EU - even though it's an appalling mess - might get in the way of that.

So it's a toxic combination of little Englander rhetoric and the usual business interests.

A sizeable percentage of the UK population is violent, stupid, ignorant, and selfish, and trying to explain how they're caught between Wall St and Frankfurt realpolitik is like trying to teach a five year old something really hard, like basic hygiene.

I was expecting a Bremain vote, but the unexpectedly timely arrival of the Panama papers and a corresponding anti-Cameron propaganda blitz makes me suspect that the official plan is now to push for Brexit, replace Cameron with a quasi-Fascist hardliner, and lean on the unparalleled awesomeness of the UK to negotiate a favourable deal, which will be welcomed by everyone left in the EU, because Britain, fuck yeah.

By the time the slumbering masses wake up to the fact that immigration is continuing thanks to special visa waivers for cheap labour, and all the family silver has been sold off to Wall St, and the land-owning aristocracy is getting substitute CAP payments direct from Westminster, it will be too late.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Apr 10th, 2016 at 05:07:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cameron is taking a page from the Trump playbook:  Make the UK great again!
by rifek on Tue Apr 12th, 2016 at 11:13:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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