In Finland, veteran Center Party politician Paavo Väyrynen has come up with an initiative that will most probably gain the support of more than 50.000 citizens, whereafter it must be voted on in the parliament. Below, I shall quote dr Väyrynen's blog entry in my ad hoc translation into English, and give you my comment.

"THE EURO BREAKS UP EUROPE "

By Paavo Väyrynen

Blog entry 16 July 2015,

[http://www.paavovayrynen.fi/2015/07/16/euro-hajottaa-eurooppaa/

|http://www.paavovayrynen.fi/2015/07/16/euro-hajottaa-eurooppaa/|fi]>

"The single currency the euro was created in the belief that it would increase the unity of Europe. The contrary happened. It has caused serious conflicts between the euro area member states and within them.

"When the changeover to the euro was treated in 1995 in the European Parliament, I together with other center party members from the Nordic countries, was against the single currency. We held that the euro should be a common currency, to be used alongside the national currencies. This was a reasonable proposal, but we got almost no support for it.

"When this solution did not materialise, I gave my support to Wolfgang Schäuble's proposal in 1994 that the single currency would initially be adopted only by France, Germany and the Benelux countries. Others would have used the euro as the single currency alongside their national currencies. Schäuble suggested that this group of five countries would be intensified also political integration, and formed a "hard core" of the European Union.

"When the euro was adopted, only sparse member met the financial conditions of the pre-set targets, the so-called EMU criteria. Finland was among them.

"If Finland had accepted the proposed eurozone of only five states, it might have become reality. However, Paavo Lipponen [leader of the Social Democrats] and Sauli Niinistö leader of the Conservatives wanted Finland to join the eurozone as one of the first countries, although the other Nordic countries were not joining.

"So it was decided to let almost any willing country join. Greece had to wait a little bit. It just had to do some make-up on its economy indicators.

"The current eurozone crisis is due to the presence of too different economies. To this problem various contradictory solutions are presently being propossed.

"The so called Five Presidents' Report, prepared under the leadership of President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, asks for a full economic union alongside the monetary union. This would include a common Minister of Finance, a common budget and permanent systems for the transfer of funds between the member states. But this is in total contradiction with the current Finnish government program.

"An alternative option was presented last year by a working group led by economics professor Vesa Kanniainen: all members of the eurozone should again start using their national currencies alongside the euro. This is precisely the model that we, the Nordic center party MEP's, tabled 20 years ago.

"Another model, also proposed by Kanniainen, was that Finland alone would withdraw from the euro area. Over time, other countries might then follow Finland's example, and so we might end up with the Schäuble solution.

"A comparison with Sweden shows that we Finland have suffered from joining the single currency euro. Now, we should have the courage to break away from the eurozone. If we continue, we will experience great economic losses. As a member of the euro area, Finland will have to assume ever greater responsibility for the debts of other countries and will lose its economic and governmental independence.

"Finland was taken into the eurozone in violation of its Constitution without a referendum. It is high time to hold a referendum on the willingness of the Finns accept the Finnish presence in the euro and eurozone which is currently being shaped under the leadership of the European Commission.

MY COMMENT

I also intend to sign onto this "Citizens' Initiative". Yet my opinion on the EU and its problems differs from that of Paavo Väyrynen. More precisely, I do not think that the main problem of the EU is that the economies of its member states are different, or unevenly developed. Instead, the key issue is political and military. First of all, the EU needs an independent vision of war and peace. Only then can it become a real political and economic union. Let me mention the three pillars, on which I belive that the EU ought to be built: firstly, the original Eurofederalism which is found in "The Manifesto from Ventotene", written during WWII, and the "Draft Treaty", which was adopted by the European Parliament in 1984; secondly, European Nuclear Disarmament--the peoples of Europe have to break away from the hegemonies of the USA, Russia, and the other nuclear states by way of their own nuclear exit ; thirdly, the internet as a common carrier and library.

Thank you, if you read this far.

And greetings from Finland,

Mikael

(via "WSF-Discuss" at http://openspaceforum.net/mailman/listinfo/worldsocialforum-discuss_openspaceforum.net)