The Brussels Diktat


Étienne Balibar, Sandro Mezzadra, and Frieder Otto Wolf in Eurozine:

Does the unjust and forced “agreement” between the Greek government and the other states in the European Union (not all of whom feel the necessity for such a sanction) mark the end of one era and the beginning of another? In many ways yes, but almost certainly not in the sense indicated to us by the “Euro-Summit” statement of 12 July 2015. In reality, the agreement is fundamentally unenforceable in economic, social and political terms, though it will be “forced through” by a process that promises to be at least as brutal and even more divisive than the extremities we have seen over the last five years.

It is therefore necessary to try to understand the implications of the agreement and to discuss its consequences, avoiding all use of rhetoric but not of engagement or passion.

In order to do so we must first look at how the negotiations unfolded (those opened by Alexis Tsipras's return to Brussels on the back of his “triumph” in the 5 July referendum – which, for good reason, has not ceased to fuel incomprehension and criticism among his supporters in Greece and abroad), and secondly we must look at what these negotiations tell us about the positioning of the various European forces.

We must define the stage that the crisis in the EU has reached (a crisis of which Greece is both the symptom and the victim) in terms of three strategic domains: firstly the debt situation and the effects of the austerity measures; secondly the division of Europe into unequal zones of prosperity and sovereignty; and finally the collapse of democratic systems and the resulting rise in populist nationalism.

But first, it is vital that we include an “assessment” of the Euro-Summit agreement: “as seen from Athens” (from the Greek people's point of view) and “as seen from Europe” (which does not mean as seen from Brussels, whose institutions clearly have no awareness whatsoever of the current European climate).

More here.