How I learned to love the Euro

Submmited by Rui Montez on Tuesday, 19 June 2012

As an enthusiastic pro-European I have always valued EU’s integration, enlargement and overall development as a political entity that strives for equity, solidarity, justice and mutual respect at international level. I might have been blind and naïve – some will say. It took me long to realize and accept what today is undeniable: nowadays European Union is not much more than a political entity driven by and aiming at protecting financial interests. The gap between discourse and actions is enormous.

Some, like me, might believe that there was a fundamental shift in the past 15/20 years. Other will argue nothing changed. Reality just become clearer and the discursive camouflage no longer serves. One thing is true: between what is said by commissioners and other EU politicians and what is done there is a tremendous difference. National politicians are caring much more for their own interest than for a solidary common development. Rules are not clear and in any case they are not the same for every country. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” wrote Orwell. And within the EU some countries define and change rules – just like pigs in Animal Farm. Others are “asked” to follow… or imposed to do it.

I never really cared much for football. And even less for international competitions. However this year I am enjoying the EURO. Oppositional parties are very clear and very sincere in that. Germans can now openly hate Greeks and wish to expel them from the EURO. No conscience problems. No judgements from the outside. In football rules are very clear. They do not change over time. And they apply for all! At the end, there is a winner. One ball, two goals, one referee, two linesmen. All these seem to have been dispensed from European politics. As Mr. Moritz Schuller puts it: “in Europe already since many years the goal is carried wherever the ball is currently flying to […] playing times are prolonged at will” (Der Tagesspiegel, 8 Jun 2012).

Until mainstream politicians do not recognize that competition is actually a form of politics of domination, that our actual political and economical system produces unmeasurable brutality and that a change is urgently needed… I better forget about EU’s pretty discourse and enjoy the other championship: the sincere and open competition of nations. I will keep believing in a programmatic, anti-hegemonic and compassionate change. And I will continue acting for it in my environment. But I will stop listening to Mrs. Merkel, Mr. Durão Barroso & Co. I’ll listen to live football matches comments instead. They tell us more about Europe than most politicians currently. So let’s see what happens on Friday: will Germany finally expel Greece from the Euro, as they have been threatening for so long? Or will Greece counter attack and manage to expel Germany from the Euro?

This text represents solely the author’s opinion and not Citizens of Europe e.V.

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