OPINION

Losing sovereignty

Greece and Europe are living through historic times. 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. It seems certain however that the current administration has witnessed the end of PASOK’s founding triptych of «national independence – popular sovereignty – social emancipation» – along with the other stereotypes and illusions of the post-1974 era.