‘Mindless vandals outside and inside ECB building’
Violence broke out as the anti-austerity ‘Blockupy Network’ march in Frankfurt on Wednesday. People were on the streets to protest against the policies of the European Central Bank, and against the opening day of the institution's new headquarters in the city. Over 90 police officers were injured and a dozen police cars were set on fire.
RT:The anger over the building is one thing but why are we seeing such anger outside of it? What is it about the ECB policies that are getting people out on the streets?
Patrick Young: This is a fascinating day in Frankfurt. For once, I think, the argument is that we’re seeing rampant mindless vandals both outside the ECB building, and also inside the ECB building. Obviously the ECB or the agents of quantitative easing, all sort of insane economic policy, that are really there as duct-tape to try to hold together a ludicrously failed political proposition which is the euro.
At the same time behind all of this, look at what the ECB tells us - it is another incredible shimmering skyscraper in ‘Mainhatten’ as they call it in Frankfurt. It’s an attempt to demonstrate the isolation of the political elite from the general people. I have to say to ‘Blockupy’ blockades, I have a great deal of sympathy because the problem we’re seeing at this point of time is …look at the whole project - utterly mismanaged. It is a travesty; it is a demonstration of the modern Germany which is a country without any coherent reasonable leadership and government. Because after all like Berlin airport which they started building in the early 19th century and it’s still not finished yet, there is also this whole issue of the budget for this building - more than double the total cost ultimately by the time it is delivered. That is disgusting! How many Eurocrats have been fired as a result? Not one. That indeed further angers the people because while people are sitting with an economic stasis, huge unemployment throughout the eurozone bloc and also the economic chaos. The answer is because the ECB and other frankly idiot politicians and bureaucrats are determined to foist the euro autocracy upon the people and it doesn’t work.
RT:There are some 7,000 Germans, and also up to 3,000 people from other European countries taking part in today's protest. What does that tell us?
PY: Look, where we are sitting at the moment is very simple. From Frankfurt you see an amazingly healthy economic position. Overall Germany is the economic powerhouse of Europe, the euro currency is collapsing in value, makes it much easier to sell people Siemens phone equipment, Mercedes Benz cars, and so on. It’s a disaster, however, for all the people on the periphery because they have had appallingly mismanaged spendthrift governments for the course of not just post-war era, but particularly the euro era. They took advantage of the lower interest rates by gobbling up more and more debt, borrowing more and more money, and ultimately they’ve spent huge amounts they couldn’t afford. And that is why now they have got a bankrupt Greece and bankrupt Italy, France teetering on bankruptcy, and massive unemployment throughout. A ridiculous blockheaded movement of socialism has essentially created a new Warsaw Pact in economic terms, and that is the eurozone. Ultimately nothing is working; Europe isn’t working, investors don’t want to go there. And why they will not go there - because it isn’t functioning.
RT:You say it’s not functioning and the people on the streets agree with you, but the Troika doesn’t. They are continuing with these austerity measures so there are some people who think it is a right thing to do. What’s your take on that?
PY: I think the problem you’ve got; if you want to take it back to the Troika you’ve got different views from different people. The Eurocrats are obsessed with keeping the euro together that is all that matters. They don’t care how many Greeks are in poverty, they don’t care how many French are unemployed; the euro must survive because without the euro a central piece of the EU collapses. I’m sorry, I’m humanitarian, and I happen to be a capitalist but the point is we have to have a dynamic system where things are allowed to change… - that is what needed at the moment.We need to tear the Troika apart. I can understand where the World Bank and the IMF come from - they hand out strict terms and they want things to be done in an economically rational way. The problem is austerity isn’t working. But at the same time the national governments aren’t working because you cannot have a command economy. France doesn’t work. Why? Because it is on its way to be a new Russia, a New North Korea. When I say Russia I mean Warsaw Pact era of Communism. You cannot have 55-60 percent of the economy being controlled by the government, it doesn’t work. You don’t get innovation, you don’t get new businesses being built up, you don’t get any investment, nothing happens. That is the problem. Therefore, the difficulty for the ‘Blockupy’ movement - they themselves ended up funding the system.What they have done this morning- they burnt hundreds of police cars. What is that? Quantitative easing of course. It is going to allow the government to spend more money because they are going to buy more police cars. Ultimately we are still in this fragile world of funny money. Tragically, 80 policemen have been injured who I simply sympathy with. We’re going nowhere here with this argument because everybody is shouting at each other, throwing bricks at each other, and we’ve got no logical economy behind it and much less confidence in Europe.
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