lunes, 2 de julio de 2012

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The future of humanity depends on whether “too big to fail” sectors of the economy are taken under public control, creating a step-up socialist model, believes Peter Mertens, Belgian politician and author, the head of the Workers’ Party of Belgium.

PM: If you have the official figures everyone can look them up and everyone can see that Greek people are working more than 2100 hours a year – and that is for examples more than 600 hours a year more than in Germany, more than 500 hours a year than in Belgium. So this myth of the lazy Greek is not true. So I was asking myself why they are saying such things in the mainstream media in Germany, in Holland, in Belgium.
And I think it is easy to understand because the establishment which profits from this euro story – for more than 10 years – is the German establishment and the Dutch establishment. So in creating this false conception of the Greek people you can say: no, it’s not a problem of economy, it’s not a problem of the Eurozone, it’s a problem of lazy Greeks.
RT:  What about the euro project? Some argue that whether the euro is needed or not in pursuit of a United Europe is moot. The fact that it was chosen as a single currency years ago means that the decision has been made and there is no turning back. Do you agree with this?
PM: So you have in Europe this organization called the “European round table of industrialists” and they are behind the scenes of the most powerful organization which has pushed this concept of one euro since the end of the 80’s in politics. From the beginning, European monetary union was conceived as a concept to create a big competitive Europe that could compete with the US, with Japan, etc, etc. And they knew very well that at the beginning of the euro there were these large inequalities in Europe.
So they knew it and they said: oh it’s not a problem, we are going to create a system of convergence – that was the treaty of Maastricht, and under the norms of Maastricht they said we are going to level up all the countries to prepare for 2002, the introduction of the euro. And now here we are 10 years later and we see that the inequalities in Europe, they weren’t leveled up at all. But this euro created more inequalities than ever in the last 50 years in Europe.
RT: The country in focus – Spain has been prescribed with the same solution as Greece and Ireland.
PM: I think that really the financial sector all over Europe should be transformed radically and we need a public sector in finance all over Europe. Because now they can bailout Spain but it’s a very short-term measure because structurally it isn’t changing a lot and I hope they will help short-term. But you also need measures for the long-term in Europe.
Einstein said once: stupidity, what is stupidity? Stupidity is to do something twice and think there will be another result. They said it would solve the crisis in Greece, now for five years Greece has been in recession, becoming worse and worse. And now they are going to take the same program to Spain and they are magically expecting another result.
RT: What does the socialism 2.0 you talked about in your book exactly mean?
PM: I think this competitive system has to change seriously and

I think we are going to need again a socialist system where there is a large public sector and a system where there is also large democratic control and I think that for all those sectors that are too big to fail for humanity, like the banking sector, like energy sectors, if it is too big to fail for the future of humanity and the world you need to have public control.

­There are two sources they say in Belgium, for wealth. And the father of wealth is the work force: people are working and thinking and creating things. This is the father of wealth. Then you have the mother of wealth, they say, this is nature. This capitalist system has a problem with its own father and its own mother. They are exploiting the workforce and they are exploiting nature. Socialism 2.0 in my view is a system that is not exploiting its mother and its father but respecting the workforce and respecting nature.

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