Pan Drakopoulos: Denying the Fatalism
The debt crisis of euro has, of course, its financial causes. Α legion of analysts and experts, that march in all directions, speak about those causes and their cure. However, beyond the euro crisis, it is proved to be a much deeper one which is the lack of cohesion between politics and society.
People in Europe –and not only- do not recognize the financial crisis as an effect of their life. They assume it as a game in which the money lenders have knocked out the politicians.
This is direct evidence of the distance between the European people and the European politics. We see it in the lack of interest on the elections for the European Parliament. (In elections to the European Parliament in 1979 voted 63% while in 2009 voted 43%) We have seen it on the people’s slogans along the streets of Spain and Greece, even in Berlin and London. We understand it in the aversion to politics and politicians. But above all we are conscious of the distressed fall of community among the Europeans.
This is the reason we have the feeling that Helmut Schmidt, a former German Chancellor, saved the honor of Europe declaring that Germany should further embrace European integration. “If we let ourselves be seduced into taking on a leading role in Europe, our neighbours will brace themselves against us,” Schmidt said. “We need to show heart towards our friends and neighbours” he pointed out. “German national muscle-flexing was damaging the national interest” he added.
So, the real question is: does the euro crisis killed Europe? Have we the right to accept it as a natural phenomenon, as a tsunami which swallows up our cultural unity, our ideas of the united Europe?
Remember: Paneuropa, the first movement for European Union, was founded in 1923 by Count Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove-Kalergi. World War II followed, and it seems that all died out. But Kalergi kept the idea on its feet. Denied the fatalism of the facts and with the end of the war he pushed Paneuropa to the scene.
Now it is the time of knights. Today we have to advocate for Europe, to feel Europeans, to speak for Europe as our achievement and destiny.
Now we are in an unpleasant position, but not in a critical one. We are not to fight to be Europeans but to take our stand upon it not despite the facts, but without being buckled under their pressure.
We are Europeans. We cannot abandon Europe. Even if we are to attempt suicide, we are going to die in a European way.