EU may fall apart due to failed neo-liberal policies – Noam Chomsky
The surge in right-wing and anti-establishment sentiments as a result of failed neo-liberal policies in Europe is likely to lead to collapse of the EU in “a tragic development,” prominent American linguist, scholar and activist Noam Chomsky told RT.
France’s right-wing presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, who is rooting for a referendum regarding France’s membership in the EU, stands a good chance of winning the elections and thus likely initiating the so-called Frexit, Chomsky said in an interview with RT on Wednesday.
I don’t think Germany would initiate it [the collapse of the EU] because they are beneficiaries of the union,” Chomsky said.
“If the union falls apart, I think it would be a tragic development,” he added.
Chomsky said that failed “neo-liberal policies of the past generation” influenced such a significant rise in popularity of the right-wing parties.
“These programs were designed in such a way so that they would lead to stagnation and even decline for a large part, actually, majority of the population. They also severely undermined democracy, which is even more true in Europe than in the US,” he said.
“The result of these processes is that people are angry, disillusioned, their hopes for the future have collapsed,” Chomsky said.
While lauding the European integration as one of the “great achievements of the post-WWII period,” Chomsky said it has become practically dysfunctional.
“The establishment of a single currency without the proper political structure is a recipe for disaster,” he said.
There are “no mechanisms for the rich sectors to assist the poor sectors in times of difficulty” in the EU, Chomsky continued, speaking of the underlying reasons for such a development.
There’s a “rigid structure” in the European countries such as Greece or Italy that do not have “control over their currencies” and there is “no compensatory system that exists in the federal structure like in the United States,” Chomsky said.
“In Europe, whoever is elected, no matter where they are in the political spectrum, the policies are going to be the same, because they are not determined by the policies in their countries,” Chomsky said, citing the Wall Street Journal, adding that the polices all go back to “unelected bureaucracies” and there’s no way for a EU country to act in its own interest.
According to Chomsky, the agenda of such groups as Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis’s DiEM25 (Democracy in Europe Movement 2025), which seeks to preserve the EU by overcoming problems within it, is a “more constructive approach.”
He also discussed the agenda of US President-elect Donald Trump, who has been dubbed an “anti-establishment” candidate – the idea Chomsky doesn’t agree with.
“Take a look at Trump and who he has appointed for the cabinet. Secretary of Treasury, most important position, determines what happens in the economy, is he anti-establishment? He comes from Goldman Sachs,” Chomsky pointed out.
Stock values in financial institutions that “escalated to the sky” when Trump was elected also “show how anti-establishment he is,” Chomsky said.
In other news:
US, S. Korea carry out joint exercises amid new round of N. Korea sanctions
US and South Korean forces have begun large-scale air defense drills, Seoul officials confirmed on Wednesday, as concern over North Korea’s nuclear and missile ambitions grows.
These latest bilateral exercises, known as ‘Vigilant Ace 17’, will focus on building joint military capabilities as well as practice hitting enemy targets such as radar installations, mobile missile launchers, leadership hideouts and other high-value targets.
A wide range of aircraft will be deployed in the exercises, including F-15K and KF-16 fighter jets, the Boeing 737 early warning and control aircraft, the Boeing EA-18G Growler, the F/A-18D Hornet, and the C-130 Hercules.
“Vigilant Ace is part of a continuous exercise program designed to enhance the readiness of US and ROK [Republic of Korea] forces,” a Pacific Air Forces spokesman told Air Force Magazine.
The Vigilant Ace exercises, which started 15 November, involve over 16,000 troops from both South Korea and the United States, including a detachment from the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and 450 US troops stationed in Japan.
In addition to the air force drills, US and Korean soldiers at Osan Air Base have taken part in exercises designed to prepare them for fighting in hazardous environments, including dealing with chemical, biological and radioactive contamination as well as harsh climates.
“Vigilant Ace is going to be conducted during the coldest season Osan Air Force Base will have all year,” said Captain Brock Money in a statement posted on the USMC website. “The Marines will continue to always keep pushing and finish any mission.”
Officials have stressed that the Vigilant Ace exercises, which are due to finish on December 5, are annual and unrelated to the geopolitical situation on the peninsula. However, they come in the midst of renewed tension in the region. North Korea claims to have successfully carried out two nuclear tests this year as well as 20 missile launches, a development which has alarmed some of its neighbors. On November 23, historic rivals South Korea and Japan signed an intelligence-sharing agreement to share information on Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear activities.
The UN Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Wednesday, targeting the isolated Asian country’s coal exports. The Security Council, including its five permanent members – Russia, China, Britain, France and the US – voted unanimously in favor of the resolution, which caps North Korean coal exports at $400.9 million or 7.5 million metric tons annually, whichever is lower, starting from January 1. Coal is one of the few sources of hard currency for the cash-strapped state. The resolution also bans exports of copper, nickel, silver, zinc and statues.