Had we not been in the European continent, one should have be afraid at a remake of the Arab Spring in Europe. After Greece unrest, Spain, here is Bulgaria and Italy is still awaiting a coalition without Berlusconi to govern the country. One of Fareed Zakaria GPS’s guests on Sunday was an editorialist from the Corriere de la sera that ignited laughs at the end of his intervention by duplex from Italia. First, he claimed optimistically not to be worried about the Italian situation. This is Italia and they are used to such dramas. Hardly did he agree with The Economist’s female representative that Italy is in a great need of a « Shake up » after a decade of Berlusconi’s disastrous rule from 2001-2011 during which only three states in the world were performing less than Italia. And this is the best part, he named those countries and we heard voicelessly the three of them : the Republic of Erythree, Haiti and Zimbabwe. Isn’t it a joke ? Not at all. In fact, according to the Italian editorialist, Berlusconi had simply been a disaster for Italy. Worst, Italy has sold, la Prada, Mazeratti and Ferrari which is unspeakable.
That news coupled with the Pape’s resignation and walking away from the Vatican should have knocked down another man except the Italian. So, wait and see how things developed.
Bulgaria is facing another kind of situation. Here people are not willingly nor ready to laugh : they are shouting their anger in the harshest terms possible. Sofia News Agency has reported the demonstrator’s anger in those words :
« The rally is accompanied by music played from loudspeakers. People are shouting « We Want Change, » « Mafia, » « Resignation, » « Impeachment » and « Bulgaria » among others.
Participants are taking turns speaking against monopolies, oligarchs, high utility bills, low wages and retirement pensions while others are calling for political change and for not dissolving the Parliament until it adopts the Election Code.
They also threatened to erect a tent camp near the building of the Administration of the President until their demands are met.
They include eliminating monopolies, a majority ballot, not adjourning the Parliament; the President appointing a program government instead of a caretaker one; drafting a Civil Participation Bill providing a 50% civil quota in all institutions; returning 51% of the shares of power utilities to the State; closing the Bulgarian Energy Holding, BEH, for draining the energy sector, summoning a Grand General Assembly, establishing a procedure to recall Members of the Parliament.
When you listen about all this, you can’t help thinking about the similarity of the demands with the Arab Spring people. It’s about political mismanagement ; about social injustices again and again ; about the lack of the conformity of the Parliamentaries to the society and the demography ; about the lack of reforms. All in all ; it’s about the impossible Dream in Bulgaria feeling as if they have been cheated upon by the promises of Freedoms and liberties in a long envied and dreamt Capitalistic society, compared to the communist’s. Bulgarians are demanding the suppression of all political parties. Look, this is the Anthem of Democracy : multipartisanism. Let’s say it was. The naked reality is this is simply not the case anymore. The system has been hijacked long long time ago. What has been kept in place is an empty envelop of it to sell all over the World. If the economic and financial crisis bears one single positive outcome, therefore, the revelation of the true nature of the System of parties in the West and the dogma of Democracy going uncovered is that judicious discovery. As the countries are still trapped in recession and by austerities programmes, so are their systems revealing their real nature. Nowhere to hide anymore.
Now what about the Sequester in the U.S. ?
Yesterday, we heard a previous deputy Treasury Secretary (GPS) deploring that the Sequester was targeting the wrong victim first. Second, the debate over whether austerity measures were good or wrong was, according to him, misguided. As a matter of facts, the Sequester is a sort of forced reduction deficit. Unfortunately, this comes with a cost president Obama warned, slowing the recovery and worsening the situation of those already suffering from weaknesses. Better to look the other way of growth first, and pay for the deficit thereafter. We thought those debates to be behind us, as we have spent uncalculable time speaking and debating over this again and again at the height of the eurozone crisis. More, the debate over the fiscal cliff was about this.
The question is how long the situation is tenable ? Indeed, is Speaker Boehner getting asleep along with Rep. Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan, without feeling a twinge on the heart ? I would.
The other question is : Is the Sequester irreversible ? If yes, why starting ? This is precisely what is at stake in the European country : leaders should not just consider economic theory and fundamentals, but the reality of the people’s life first.
Actually, the Huffpost uk informed us the debate over public spending cuts is also raging in the UK. It all comes down to this : the fracturing line is between Orthodoxy’s followers and the defenders of the principle of reality concerning the Real People’s Life. How do you build a bridge between them ? The Orthodox move with arbitrary measures whereas the Pragmatic tend to find out if those measures are motivated. Always remember Keynes « in the long run, we’ll all be dead ». Does this imply our defeat before even trying ? Not at all. Reducing spendings is good, but not the Taliban GOP’s way, by cutting arms, legs and with the obligation to wear a burka for women and a long beard for men. All this with lot of sticks hits.
Meanwhile threats of European or US Spring are looming. Don’t stop calling Speaker Boehner and your GOP’s Taliban House Representative to contest all those arbitrary rulings.
In the end, what do Bulgaria and the Sequester have in common ? Threats of the Arab Spring. For sure. Some would replicate America is not Bulgaria. That is exactly the same allegation Egypt and Lybia were making during Tunisia revolt until they were in before even taking a breathing. Take care.