Saturday, 13 February 2010

Losing sovereignty

From the Athens daily, Kathimerini, on the current Euro crisis in Greece:
The economic crisis and the threat of voracious capitalism are forcing EU governments to reconsider fundamental pacts, such as the economic and monetary union agreement. They are forcing them, at long last, to look at the crisis in political terms. Greece, being at the forefront of developments, shows the route that could also be taken by the EU in the future and, at the same time, finds itself in a worse position, for it is surrendering national sovereignty in order to gain some respite.

“We lost some of our sovereignty.” Prime Minister George Papandreou was clear about what happened at the EU summit on the Greek economy. Greece received no money. It was placed under triple supervision (by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund), it was forced to introduce additional fiscal measures in the future. In return, Greece received pledges of political support which, according to German analysts, is essentially an attempt to prop up the euro and protect the eurozone against speculative attacks.

Over the next three years, i.e. during the implementation of the stability program, Greece will be under the EU microscope. The government will be responsible for reducing the deficit but it will have little room for maneuver: the EU will have the final say over policy, particularly over risky measures to spur growth or curb inflation in light of the coming recession.

It’s hard to say whether the country will fully regain its sovereignty at the end of the three-year supervision.


While UK papers are (rightly) concerned about a possible contribution by the UK to bail-out Greece, it's worth noting that yet again the EU is using a crisis as an excuse to extend its powers, this time under Article 121 of the Lisbon Treaty.

No wonder the Greeks are burning the EU flag in the streets of Athens.


  1. 'Sovereignty'... nobody has sovereignty since Lisbon. Except Brussels.

  2. You're right, though at least now we have some real-life examples of the impact of Lisbon. Given that it's only after only 3 months since ratification they are certainly not hanging around.