Dr Schauble has ordained that elections can make no difference to policy in Eurozone countries, because policy can only be dictated by himself. He didn’t put it quite that way but that is the essence. The brutal crushing of Greece has demonstrated that he has got his way. No matter that the 3rd bail out appears designed to fail again since it will only bring about more recession, more unemployment, more destitution. No matter that 62% of Greek voters screamed against all the bullying that they can take no more austerity. Dr Schauble got his way.
Yesterday’s elections in Portugal appear to have vindicated him too. For all the pain and misery inflicted on the Portuguese they returned the government of austerity to power, even though things remain abysmal and some 500,000 of their brightest and best have fled the country and their debt/GDP is in the region of 130%.
So Dr Scahuble has triumphed! Not only has that upstart Tsipras turned his coat completely (like a latter day Janissary of the Ottoman Empire), but the Portuguese have realised that they simply cannot defy him and have bent their knee accordingly. And no doubt something of the same will happen in Spain too.
And what has made Dr Schauble’s triumph even greater is that nobody doubts (and how could they?) that this vicious austerity imposed by fiat has failed abominably. The figures show this blatantly. Never mind the murmurs from within the IMF that whoops! Seems likes we effed up!
And yet… Coehlo’s party may have come in first but he lost enough votes to deprive him of an outright majority. The new Greek Parliament may have an overwhelming majority of Austerity True believer parties from the Tsipras band to the scraped through piddly little parties of Democratic Union and Potami, but every single major party lost voters this time around.
Abstention was high in both Greece and Portugal. So Dr Schauble has been heeded. If voting makes no difference, then why bother voting? Which is one interpretation. The obvious one. But that does not necessarily mean surrender. It merely means that an important section of the electorate has finally realised the dice are loaded against them.
Choosing to abstain from voting is not the same as accepting you are powerless. Quite the contrary. For a start it means declining to take part in the charade. It means heightened awareness of the crimes being perpetuated against you. It means a beginning in the turning of the tide.
Like King Canute Dr Schauble with equal arrogance has ordered the tide not to wet his feet. And he can smirk that he has succeeded, triumphantly so, in that no one dares challenge his obviously failed policies any more. However, like King Canute, he has not realised that he has not in fact stopped the tide, but just that at the moment it is at low ebb. Soon enough it will come rushing in again and swamp him and his foolish, arrogant policies.
62% of Greeks daring to vote NO! despite all the terrible threats they were showered with, Jeremy Corbyn winning the Labour Party leadership despite all the hysteria against him, even the alarming rise of Donald Trump in the US but also the totally unexpected results for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party all attest to this.
The tide is turning, the tide will turn because no one can stop it. The only question is how violent will things become? The more one tries to stop the flow of nature, the more violent the explosion when the dam bursts.
When Dr Schauble’s puny little dam smashes from the accumulated pressure against it, as it surely will, the violence will depend on just how much water, dissent, he has managed to bottle up before it all comes cascading violently down over him, possibly uprooting the whole EU edifice with it.
If that is what Dr Schauble ultimately wants, he ought to be very pleased with himself. As most short sighted and complacent mediocre rulers usually are. Till it is too late.