Tag Archives: New Democracy

Le Vif/L’Express, « There is ALWAYS an alternative », June 22, 2012

This is an exclusive preview – in English! – of my column which will be published in the Belgian weekly Le Vif/L’Express this coming Thursday

The phenomenon is the way in which things manifest themselves to us, and this can be real – either with things appearing as they really are; or it can be deceptive – with things appearing other than they really are – such is the case for optical illusions for example which suggest a false reality. Where the Greek language said phainomenon, latin said apparentia, appearance, with the same two nuances as for phenomenon – either an appearance faithful to the nature of things, or, on the other hand, an appearance which is deceptive.

Why this talk about epistemology? Because of the Greek elections last Sunday, and the European political class which has fallen victim to an appearance which is deceptive: it thought that encouraging the Greeks to vote for the right-wing party New Democracy was a way of saving the Euro, fearing that a vote for the left-wing coalition Syriza, would signal the end of it. Whereas in fact the opposite is true

Why? Because the formula adopted so far to try to save the Eurozone has been a spectacular failure. To persist stubbornly with the same policy following the principle of ‘TINA’ (There is no alternative, the infamous words of Margaret Thatcher), is to be sure of pursuing the hellish spiral descent which was triggered at the end of 2009. The Europeans who are roped together like a climbing team (let’s not pull the wool over our eyes) are in spiritual turmoil. The ropes of its members are working loose one by one: Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Cyprus…. whilst the number of them looking to have a secure foothold – burdened by the weight of those already dangling in mid-air which is growing heavier and heavier – is reducing dangerously.

Continue reading Le Vif/L’Express, « There is ALWAYS an alternative », June 22, 2012


France and the future of Europe

The fact that Spain seems to have lost all access to the capital markets for the foreseeable future, seeming thus, at first glance, to condemn the entire existence of the Eurozone, was headline news on Paul Jorion’s blog yesterday. Firstly, as discussed in the article ironically entitled “The Greeks have made the right choice”, where I drew attention to the fact that the victory of the right-wing party New Democracy in the elections didn’t seem to have any positive or negative effect on the international markets since the coupon for 10 year Spanish debt had shot past the 7% threshold in the morning (and was at 7.158% at the close). Then, I returned to the theme in the afternoon with “The loss of confidence in the Spanish markets – Live”

During all this time, what did the French press think of all this? Nothing it seems. Did they speak about it the following morning? Not really, not, in any event, in anything I had access to. In Les Échos on line ? Uh.. nothing. In the printed version ? Uh…..nothing. Le Monde on line? Uh….nothing. Le Figaro on line? Uh… nothing.  La Tribune (now only available on line)? Uh….nothing.

In Belgium, it made the headlines in l’Écho, which manages to save the honour of the French-speaking press. What about the English-speaking press? There, it’s different: they’re talking about nothing else! Front page news for the Financial Times online, first page of the online Wall Street Journal, front page on the site of the Bloomberg agency, etc.

The conclusion to be drawn from all this? (Unless I have looked really, really badly) no one in France is even the slightest bit interested in the future of the Euro.