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Emet m'Tsiyon

Monday, January 09, 2017

European Union Tortures Greek Fellow Europeans - What Can Israel Expect from the EU?

In January 2012 the EuroZone, the countries sharing the single currency, the euro, demanded extreme austerity from Greece. One of the provisions of the set of demands on Greece was to reduce medical benefits for the Greek population [veda qui].

We can now see the effect of these draconian demands. The French daily Le Figaro reported one and a half years ago, July 2015, on the gloomy picture. That is when Greece accepted a further set of harsh austerity demands by the EuroGroup which runs the EuroZone. I have no doubt that the situation now is worse than in 2015. Le Figaro writes:
Elevators out of service, tired greenish linoleum, a corridor burdened with patients abandoned on rolling beds. Over-aged medical material and medications that are running out. Austerity. At the Evangelismos Hospital in Athens, "We know what it is." . . .   
We hear them speaking harshly to each other . . .  "Go in front of me? Do you take yourself for a German?" exclaims an irritated fifty-year old  waiting his turn at the window where medicines are given out. "We're all worn out," another patient makes an excuse. "We mustn't complain," sighs Denise, an epileptic, 40 years old who subsists with her daughter  thanks to a disability pension of 300 euros per month. "We still have free medications." . . . . "I try to survive as best I can," chief cardiologist Dr Ilias Zarkos confides.  "At the  age of fifty-five I earn 1320 euros per month, as against 1600 euros four years ago. . . . In the past five years, we have all had our salaries reduced, and 20% of the staff went on retirement without being replaced. . . . Who would want to work under these conditions? Greece is now naked." "Every year the subsidies and equipment provided to the hospital are reduced by 15%," Dr Sioras continues. [Le Figaro, 15 Juillet 2015]
That is the state of Greek hospitals as of July 2015. That is the result of years of EU austerity treatment for the original debt crisis, whereas Greek debt as of July 2015 and as of now too, is worse, is higher than in 2010 when the debt crisis first came to light. Sometimes the remedy is worse than the disease.

If the Greeks were perhaps an exotic tribe in Africa or on the island of Borneo or some decidedly Third World country, would the EU be so callous to their suffering? Would the hospitals have to make do with short supplies and out of date equipment and supplies and reduced staff? Wouldn't Europe's supposed charitable and humanitarian instincts take over and wouldn't the cries for help be answered? Where is the solidarity for fellow Europeans, whereas solidarity is supposed to be a fundamental principle of the EU? Indeed, solidarity may be located in the same place as another EU principle, transparency, another EU value which is honored as much in the breach as the observance.

Besides, when the Palestinian Authority, a new form of the old PLO, is short of funds, somehow the EU finds the money. But the same generosity does not show up for the Greeks, for their fellow Europeans who are suffering. Nor does the supposed EU principle of transparency come into effect when it comes to funding a whole array of anti-Israel NGOs .....

The EuroGroup policy toward their fellow European Greeks is harsh and callous, and unproductive. What is their attitude toward Israel? Do they any longer recognize the Jewish right to live throughout the Land of Israel (Palestine in their parlance) west of the Jordan,  as the international community had decided in 1922 in the Mandate for Palestine issued to the UK for the purpose of erecting the Jewish National Home?  Today old commitments are forgotten. In fact, prominent EU member states voted at the UN Security Council for a resolution calling it a crime for Israelis to live east of the Green Line, the 1949 armistice line, even in Jerusalem, a city that has had a Jewish majority since 1853, if not before, whereas all Jews were ethnically cleansed from parts of Jerusalem --including the Old City's Jewish Quarter-- that were under Arab control after the 1947-1949 Israeli War of Independence. So the EU states represented in the UN SC favored apartheid against Jews by proclaiming that Jewish residence east of the Green Line, in Jerusalem too, was illegal according to international law, no less. That is what UN SC resolution 2334 has to say. Those EU states want to return Jews to their traditional status in Europe in the Middle Ages where often Jews were forced to live in ghettoes. Indeed, this demonstrates the cyclical nature of history. Out of the ghetto, now back to the ghetto.

Israel can hope for nothing decent at the upcoming French-sponsored "peace conference" in Paris. Bear in mind that the words, working-for-peace, can really mean working for war. There are strong grounds for assuming that the Paris war conference due to start on January 15 is meant to produce a resolution that will be taken to the UN Security Council before Donald Trump is inaugurated as US president on 20 January 2017 in order to prevent him from interfering in the gang up on Israel which Trump has already defined as "unfair". The Paris-to-New York time schedule is tight but possible. As the example of Euro treatment of Greece demonstrates, the EU and its member states can be not only stingy but harsh and cruel. Can Israel expect better from the EU after nearly 2000 years of discrimination and oppression of Jews and often of persecution?
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For more on the Eurozone's treatment of Greece, as well as the contrast between favoritism for the PLO/PA contrasted with stinginess with Greece, see here & here .

A quote from Il Sole-24 Ore (30 January 2012) on proposed reductions of medical coverage for Greeks:
Sul fronte previdenziale, la Troika fa notare che il 50% dei medicinali rimborsati dal sistema sanitario pubblico è generico, con prezzi bassi (e che vi è quindi spazio per ridurre l'esborso di denaro pubblico). [Il Sole-24 Ore, 30 Gennaio 2012  qui

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