Fabio de Masi: Schäuble wants to shrink the eurozone

Fabio De Masi im Interview mit der griechischen Zeitung Epohi


Fabio De Masi hat der griechischen Tageszeitung Epohi ein Interview über die aktuellen Entwicklungen in Europa und der Plan-B.Initiative gegeben. Das Interview erschien am 02.Februar 2016 auf der Homepage von Epohi in griechischer Sprache. Wir dokumentieren das Interview in englischer Übersetzung.

1. The recent developments like the increase of the Left in Greece, Portugal and Spain, create some hope that, even at a slow pace, something is changing in Europe?

I fear change might be too slow to prevent the EU from falling apart. It is encouraging If the people of the South turn left. But in countries where social democracy has betrayed its purpose - France, Poland, Hungary and  Germany - many turn right. The migration crisis is a true stress test for the EU. Austerity doubles the problems and fears that the socially deprived have with migration. Without a wealth tax and massive public Investment into housing and education we will not manage the challenge.

2. Syriza has already governed for a year now. How do you judge the governmental policy of SYRIZA so far? And what is the special mark it has left in a European level;

Syriza was the first political force to challenge austerity. It tries hard to reform the Greek state, improve tax administration and shield the lower and middle classes from the war the troika wages against the Greek people. However, the memorandum is doomed to fail.

3. At a critical point of the negotiations between the loaners and the Greek government, it seems that the harsh team of the loaners are trying to form a climate against Greece. This was obvious also in Schaeuble’s  in Davos. What is your estimation?

Schäuble is not finished. He wants to create a federal Europe but under German leadership. The German government wants to continue a policy where the South is basically a workshop for German exports to the world economy. But a German Europe requires transfers and a loss of democratic soverignty since the euro zone will not revover with austerity. In order to keep the costs for German Europe low and force Italy and Greece into submission Schäuble wants to reduce the Euro Zone. Hence, he wants Greece to leave. That hasn't changed.

4. You have signed in the invitation for the European Congress in Madrid on 19-21 February, against austerity and for the construction of a real Democracy. Why did you sign?

Because we need a Plan B to break with EU rules if those rules destroy Europe. Sadly, the political right whether in the UK, Poland or Hungary has understood that the only way to get concessions from the EU is to threaten rupture. If we don't want the EU to concede only to the City of London as with the Brexit Campaign or the right wing to adress the social emergency as in Poland or Hungary we got to wake up.

5. What possibilities do you think there are of resisting to austerity politics in the Eurozone today?

Unfortenately not many as long as the ECB can shut off any government from the Euro if it refuses to cut wages or pensions.

6. What is the situation in Germany? It seems that Merkel is retreating to the extreme Right’s pressures (AfD, Pegida).

Merkel is not "Mother Theresa". She wants to modernise Germany and its workforce by migration. The refugee crisis provides a perfect occassion. Trade unions are alarmed since employers associations already push for exempting refugees from minimum wages. At the same time Merkel may have underestimated the scale of the migration crisis and the effects of the West aiding Turkey and Saudi Arabia to feed chaos and terror in Syria. Now not many countries that Germany has forced into self-destructing austerity are very eager to help her. If Merkel fails to distribute refugees more evenly across Europe and invest into housing and schooling integration may fail and the right may exploit the fears among people.  No leftist government would be possible in Germany for years. Hence, It is our Duty to challenge Merkel for her chaotic migration policies and to demand that the wealthy and the big corporations pay for supporting our brothers and sisters that had to flee their homes.