Δευτέρα, 27 Ιουνίου 2016

How the eurozone’s rebellious south welcomed Brexit


24/6/2016

By Mehreen Khan

Right-wing eurosceptics from the Netherlands to France have welcomed the UK’s momentous decision to exit the EU, calling on their own governments to hold similar referendums on membership.

But leaders in the southern half of the eurozone – so long a thorn in the side of Brussels in the wake of the financial crisis – have also used Friday’s historic decision to warn Brussels against business as usual.

This time last year, Greece was poised to hold a referendum which delivered a bloody nose to its creditors (despite being ultimately being over-ruled), writes Mehreen Khan.

Today, Athens’ left-wing prime minister Alexis Tsipras said the UK’s decision was a revolt against “arrogant” technocrats and a “wake up call” for its institutions:

''The decision of the British people must be respected but it confirms the existence of a deep crisis, a crisis of identity and strategy in Europe.

The British referendum will either be a wake-up call for the sleepwalker heading for the abyss or the beginning of a very dangerous and slippery path for [Europe’s] peoples.

We now have to a raise a barrier against Euroscepticism and the far-right and re-found a people’s Europe on the principles of democracy, freedom, equality and solidarity…. That’s a Europe worth fighting for.''

Of the Mediterranean member states, Italy’s reformist Matteo Renzi is arguably the most influential, representing its third largest economy and one of its six founding members.

Mr Renzi, who faces his own battle in a constitutional referendum to be held in October, said the UK’s exit was a time to “turn a page” in the EU’s history and revive its integrationist zeal.

He said:

''Europe is our home, it is our home and the home of our children and grandchildren. We say this today more than ever, convinced that the house needs to be restructured, perhaps refreshed but it is the house of our tomorrows.

We Italians know what it is to have responsibility towards history. To be responsible to our history does not only mean responsibility to our past, to our founding fathers, but also to be responsible to our future, to our children who ask for more Europe, to meet their dreams and their aspirations.

The world has need of more EU, of a Europe of work, courage, freedom, democracy. In a world, the world needs more European humanism. To those who ask for more security and more peace there are 70 years of history that demonstrate that peace is possible thank to union and not division.

Viva Italy, viva Europe!''

Portugal’s newly elected anti-austerity Socialist government has also been at loggerheads with the commission over meeting deficit targets since it was bought into office earlier this year.

Prime minister Antonio Costa said the UK’s move had “sent a very strong signal” that many Europeans no longer identified themselves “with what the EU has become”.

What was required now was not “more Europe or less Europe, but a better Europe”, said Mr Costa.

The EU needed an economy that produced prosperity and a single currency that facilitated trade rather than lifting up some economies and penalising others, he said.

There will be no respite for the EU after Brexit as all attention will turn to Spain’s second election in just seven months this weekend. Left-wing forces in the country, who have protested against Brussels’ austerity demands, are also set to be emboldened by Brexit.

Pablo Iglesias, the leader of the upstart Podemos movement which is currently polling as the second largest in the country said the UK’s decision showed “it was necessary to rebuild the idea of Europe”.

Πηγή

Δεν υπάρχουν σχόλια:

Δημοσίευση σχολίου