solidarityDuring a town hall-style meeting in Estonia earlier this month, Siim Kallas, the European Commissioner for Transport (and former Prime Minister of Estonia) asked the audience: “What is solidarity? Is there a definition? Do you know what the definition is?”

Kallas told the audience that, when Cyprus held the EU’s rotating Presidency of the Council in 2012, the (then-Communist) President of Cyprus repeatedly called for greater solidarity and greater redistribution of wealth within Europe. Commissioner Kallas, who is a pro-free market liberal, said that he wanted to ask the Cypriot President whether that meant Cypriot wealth should also be redistributed to Estonia, as Cyprus was clearly the wealthier country. He added, however, that he “didn’t dare ask it at the time.”

Today, with talk of a possible third bailout for Greece, the question of ‘solidarity’ in Europe is a topical one. The European Commission has been holding similar town hall-style meetings to the one Commissioner Kallas spoke at throughout Europe, and they have been asking audiences up and down the continent whether they believe ‘Europe means solidarity between member-states’. Perhaps surprisingly, given the bitter debate surrounding the eurozone bailouts, many of the audiences have responded positively: including 62% in Italy, 75% in Poland and 80% in Belgium.

But the question from Commissioner Kallas is a good one: what exactly is solidarity, and what does it mean in practice? Many of our commenters have argued that the eurozone bailouts do not in fact represent solidarity, as they take the form of emergency loans that push the recipient countries further into debt and force them to engage in humiliating and destructive austerity measures. Others argue that solidarity has to be accompanied by responsibility and reform, or it cannot be sustainable.

We’ve put together some facts and figures about the eurozone bailouts into an infographic below. You can see the relative sizes of the various bailout packages (though it’s important to note that not all of the bailout packages are directly comparable – e.g. some are for governments, some for the banking sector – and some of these numbers, as is the case with Spain, represent upper limits rather than actual spending). Nevertheless, these numbers give you an indication, and you can also see how unemployment has increased and how the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion has risen (or fallen, as is the case with Portugal).

eurozone-bailouts


93 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think? Do you believe Europe should represent solidarity between member states? What does 'solidarity' mean to you? And how would you feel if Greece received a third bailout? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we'll take them to policy-makers for their reactions.

  1. avatar
    Davey Brown

    Solidarity means putting your own people first, it means not allowing millions of immigrants to take the jobs that your own unemployed could do. Solidarity means your taxes spent on your own needy not the EU greedy. There should be no further bailouts for Greece because this isn’t about helping the Greek poor, its about propping up the corrupt pigs and their useless currency in Brussels. Solidarity with the Greek people means rescuing them from the Euro, not trapping them in it.

    • avatar
      Limbidis Arian

      That’s the definition of ***holism…err..i mean selfishness.

  2. avatar
    Karel Van Isacker

    Either th EU continues and then it bails out Greece again, applying however strict policies to be implemented by the Greek government. If the EU decides not to bail out, they can as well dismantle the EU as it has proven so far to be fully malfunctioning.

  3. avatar
    Eduardo Barroso

    There is an encapsulated solidarity (nice outside but with NOTHING inside)…it’s only a fassade as what I can see! Rich countries say that they are giving too much money for poor countries but the fact is that the money they give to the poor is nothing more than huge loans with excruciating yields..thats…solidarity……….

  4. avatar
    Katerina Kyriazi

    oh please the Greek debt is worse now than it were on the beginning of the crisis, alongside every other financial and social element within Greece. Let’s just call it by its real name: BANK BAILOUT!

  5. avatar
    Maro Kouris

    The problems in Greece mostly derive as a result of the flawed structures within the EU, promoted in the past by Britain during the 90s and adopted by the Swiss style Germans which were and are economically unsustainable and prone to complete failure- which is why the British endorsed them in the past. We have a flawed Euro currency system, which suited the Swiss style Germans in the past, but is now under stress, from its poor design, which was fully endorsed by the British in the 90s and quietly endorsed by the Swiss-style Germans , but for different reasons. The British endorsed the flawed euro currency design, because they fore-saw that it was economically unsustainable, while the Germans endorsed the flawed Euro currency design in the 90s, so as to horde all the money earned from the Southern Eurozone countries, since there is no economic transfer union within the Euro Currency Zone, like there is in every other currency zone in the World, Britian is also mostly responsible for the absense of a EU Defense Force, to share the economic , military and political burden of military expenditure and military operations in defense of the territorial integrity of the European Union against Rogue States like Turkey. This suits the British , since they are conducting a WAR BY PROXY on the Eurozone and the European Union via Turkey so as to weaken and destroy the Euro , via Euro members Greece and Cyprus via the British Sponsorship of the Turkish military aggression on Greece and Cyprus since 1974 as well as Turkish military occupation of EU member Cyprus. since 1974.This suited the Germans in the past, due to all the Military hardware they sold to Greece and Cyprus on the German backed Euro Credit Line facilty, which the Germans will have to eventually pay. This suited the Germans and the North Europeans in the past, but has backfired on them over the past 4 years, with the economic troubles in Greece which the German taxpayer will have to fork out, all due to the British Sponsored Turkish aggression on EU members Greece and Cyprus, And the bizzare thing is that no swift action is taken against either Britain or Turkey, for the damage they are creating on the Euro

  6. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    Bail outs, charity, donations are not the solution.. Just look at Africa.. They are in fact the cause of inequality and they maintain the current political and economic status quo in a region.. Once a country is dependent on others, it is easier to be manipulated by them.. If Europe really wanted to stand by Greece all these years it would have invested in it and created jobs and educational institutions… What the Greeks neef are jobs and new industries and innovation.. Not bail outs or at least not only bail outs… But the global capital elites want a weak peripheral Greece to be easier to manipulate and steal its natural resources for nothing.. With the cooperatiob of course of the Greek corrupt political elite.. So what solidarity is Europe raving about? Instead of creating jobs they are destroying them.. The little industries we had relocated in other countries in Europe or Asia.. Giving money to save the Greek banks that are part of the European banking system does not sound like solidarity to me.. The money do not go to make the Greek people’s lives easier!!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Chris Mouzeviris
      Your first sentence was sublime! BRAVO!!

  7. avatar
    Ana Georgieva

    How to beleive when I see with my eyes it is a lie. Is occupation of markets and resourses solidarity?

  8. avatar
    Maro Kouris

    The EU must launch economic , political and military sanctions against both Britian and Turkey, violating EU treaties in relation to its criminal activities against EU members Greece and Cyprus along with the British- Turkish sabotage of the Euro currency.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      “The EU must launch economic , political and military sanctions against both Britian and Turkey”…Please do, the EU will be worse off on all counts

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Maria Kouris
      Rest assured if Turkey attacks Greece the UK will help defend the once great nation of Greece.

    • avatar
      JJ

      You’re kidding right? That’s just messed up.

  9. avatar
    Ioana Raluca

    The only solidarity in EU is that of rich countries agains the poor ones on the following principle: poor countries are allowed to be part of EU but they have to pay a certain price, they have to accept that rich countries buy all their factories, gold and everything they have good for miserable amounts of money, they also have to accept the position of being nothing but a market for the rich countries who force them to buy all the crapy products and synthetical food that the latter ones don’t need anymore, this is solidarity seen through the eyes of a poor country in EU and another thing, it is not a pleasure for people coming from poor countries to find a job in those rich ones but unfortunately you give them no choice, nobody finds pleasure in leaving their home-country, trust me @Davey Brown!!! But they have no choice as long as their corrupt pollitical leaders have sold all the factories as bargain to those goodwilling European neighbours!!! So you have bought everything from their country but then you want them to stay away from your country, it has no sense…really

  10. avatar
    Maro Kouris

    The European Commission must IMMEDIATELY lay the red carpet for Britain to leave immediately the European Union as the French have said in the past , via EU economic political , economic and military sanctions on Britain, since Britain has violated EU Treaties, through British covert sponsorship of the Turkish military occupation of EU member Cyprus since 1974 and British sponsorship of the Turkish military aggression on Greece since 1974

    • avatar
      Marcel

      I’m sure you can get the French to volunteer to cover for the loss of Britain’s net contribution, right?

  11. avatar
    Isabel Lindley Cintra Torres

    no, absolutely no solidarity at all, an economic struggle lead by lucky chance of some countries is the rule. To be rich. To promote greed of some agaisnt the majority. Its sad, but we are strong and we are going to solve all the matters in the future, if we all speak the truth

  12. avatar
    Paul X

    I think Commissioner Kallas is pretty spineless as that is exactly the question that should be asked….
    As long as the people of the EU countries vote for different ends of the political spectrum there will never be solidarity
    The people are the most important thing in the whole of the EU, it is them that pay the taxes that the EU spends (or miss spends) and without them there would be no EU.
    Therefore if the tax paying public of one country vote in a Right Wing government why should they have to suffer left wing policies being imposed from Europe? and visa-versa if the EU was leaning to the right

  13. avatar
    Máté Parászka

    it’s a very serious situation……in case of greece, i would say, solidarity means, if a bunch of guys try to help you because of solidarity, than you should try to solve the problem by having solidarity with people who are helping you.The problem is not the immigrants, who have nothing to do with the crizis, not the euro zone,the union or other member states, because not this made the crizis, but a strange government, and the people accepting his conditions, and now offcourse i’m not talking about the people, only the ones who feel guilty and they blame others because a situation they made, and this people are not the immigrants or the worker class.I spent a longer time in greece, i can say it’s one of my favorite countries, but because i spent a time, i can say that this situation is so controversial, that i don’t realy like to have an opinion about it.The only thing i hope, is that there is a solution for it, because how i said i like the place, i would like even to live in greece, maybe i would make something to offer a few working places also.But i’m afraid to say, maybe anothe bailout push the country in a deeper problem.

  14. avatar
    Davey Brown

    I have no problem with people coming here who pay their way and bring something to the party and follow our laws. What I wont tolerate are the criminals and assorted dregs of Europe who flood here to take advantage of our benefits system. They are creating misery and racism. If it continues there will be a serious and violent backlash. Even English patience has its limits. We must control our borders and deport any foreign criminal who comes to our shores. And one day we will. Get used to it.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Davey Brown
      Speaking as a non-white born and bred UK citizen I AGREE with you 100%!!

  15. avatar
    Ioana Raluca

    Oooow I really hope you will but without discriminating those who work and study there! They have nothing to do with criminals.

  16. avatar
    Davey Brown

    THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN REMOVED BY MODERATORS FOR BREACHING OUR CODE OF CONDUCT. REPLIES MAY ALSO BE REMOVED.

  17. avatar
    Ioana Raluca

    Do you know which is the problem with those criminals? You are deporting them back to their origin country and there…guess what, they belong to minorities and the origin country can’t really punish them because the same good willing EU neighbours, who also complain about those criminal’s behaviur, blame us for being racist if we dare to punish those criminals, that is the problem, so we have to let them get away with that :( it’s like a circle

  18. avatar
    Jaime Martins

    Who will receive the bailout, the people of Greece or the bankers again?
    People is the base of economy, that’s were money should enter in the real economy.

  19. avatar
    Pedro Celestino

    A third bailout would only mean that the banks, politicians and big corporations would steal even more from Greece, bringging more people to be homeless and starved, while ecological crimes would be even bigger, like it is happening in the gold mine (I dont recal its name atm).

  20. avatar
    Ioana Raluca

    you should really watch this movie!!! It won’t affect just Romania, it will be an ecological disater, like the one in Cernobil!!!

  21. avatar
    Pedro Celestino

    (Just completing what I meant before)

    Yes we should be helpful among us, to Greece mainly, but giving them money is not the solution because, Greece is not the problem, the problem is :

    1) at the heart of the EU and the several governments of its countries, which are corrupt

    2) the current economic system, where one can be as rich and powerful as he wants and the more rich you are the easier it is be richer.

    We should really think in a maximum wage/profit system and along with a EU wide minimum wage system.

    Plus less work hours for everyone, specially because even if we solve the corruption machines “stole” most of or work.

  22. avatar
    T

    Solidarity has been since 1957 the basic prinicple of the EU. Yet without clear competences in various policies and with heads of states having the last word to say, the EU will never be able to act as it should and ultemately genuine solidarity will never be possible. Solidarity between regions in a country is operated by the central state of that given country (in Spain, in Italy even in Germany -with the fall of the Berlin wall for instance ); the same should be applied at the European level. The latter should have the means and the sole capacity to take decisions and the needed action accordingly.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @T
      LOL!!! – “without clear competences”!

      FORGET COMPETENCES!!

      How about create an EU 2.0 (bereft of the Latin nations, the Balkan nations and the Baltic nations) wherein all nations adhere to the standards [re TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL] that the likes of the Scandinavian nations, the Teutonic nations and the British Isle nations currently exhibit.

  23. avatar
    Panos Mentesidis

    I am Greek, ofcourse unmployeed and ready to migrate to the UK for a better future. I have two degrees from UK unis and I lived there for 6 years. The British are right for making fun of the EU and not wanting to join they shouldn’t join. The EU is giving away billions of Euros that the German people have paid in tax to corrupt institutions and banks and then the German politicians and Media have the audacity to blame the Greek people. Solidarity no! Third package for Greece of course NOT!! I’d rather die! Giving other peoples money to save banks and gamblers and then blaming us and loading us with enormous debt! The EU has failed its now a matter of time before it desolves. Fasism is on the rise in Southern Europe and all you do is eat and crap on our future. The european parliament should be dissolved and the money we all spend to have you live in fancy appartments in Brussels should be given back! Corrupt, immoral chair hunters!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Panos Mentesidis
      The British people welcome intelligent and articulate and sensible people like you – BRAVO SIR, WELL SAID!!

  24. avatar
    Michele Browne

    Solidarity doesn’t mean continually giving bailouts to countries that never intended to do what’s needed to help themselves. I don’t think anymore money should be given to Greece ever. All it dies is take whatever is handed over and fritter it away on a select few who get bonuses for turning up for work, using a computer. Need I go on? I think that says it all. If the EU want to continue to bailout this country please deduct any money from my hard earned tax first. I DON’T WANT TO BE A PARTY TO IT! GET IT…

  25. avatar
    Yolanda Loureiro

    essencial pilar of the EU spirit. We must never forget that Greece entrance was a forge made by european union and banks so now we all must pay this mistake . Greeek people is not to blame , the spinning campains about EU entrance were so strong and so manipulated that all people from europe believed. There were some comunista and left parties that warned people about this manipulation and the mistake of some countries enter this liberal ideas community , immitating USA. We european don’t want to be like the stupid americans. But the pressure from social media and governments were stronger and people was manipulated. Now we can all see the results and resist to pay for debths that we didn’t created.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Yolanda Loureiro
      The Greeks are NOT 100% innocent – they connived with Goldman Sachs to cook the books re EU entry and allowed endemic systemic political corruption to go unchallenged!

      I do agree with you though that the USA system is primitive/barbaric/crap – no free healthcare, survival of the richest, wild gun laws based on a constitution founded by capitalist slave owners!!

  26. avatar
    Marcel

    When you ask people if they support solidarity they will usually say yes.

    However when solidarity becomes a real thing rather than some theoretical concept you will find they will switch their answer to no.

    Myself, I do not support any measure that transfers money from my country to any other country, there is too much of that already and its not as if we don’t need it ourselves.

    Maybe the question should be reformulated, and people should be asked if they are willing to send their savings and pension funds to other countries (and then funneled to fund bankers bonuses). I bet the audience support for that kind of solidarity would be lower even than zero.

    By the way, how much income tax did Eurosoviet kommissar Kallas pay? Exactly. So much for solidarity.

    Solidarity as defined in Brussels means solidarity with bankers. I’ll have none of that thank you. Let them go bankrupt and then nationalize them all (debts for the bond holders and shareholders, assets for the taxpayer).

  27. avatar
    Marcel

    Actually, if there really is such ‘solidarity’ as with the audience answers, I propose the following solution.

    Let those who are in favor of the undemocratic EU and the wealth-destroying Euro agree to pay an extra 30% in income tax and voluntarily surrender half their savings and money in their pension funds. When the pro-EU crowd lines up for that I will believe there is solidarity.

    By the way, I wouldn’t count on very high revenues because the pro-EU types don’t have that much solidarity. When they use the word solidarity they mean making other people (like me) pay for funneling money through Greece towards German/French bankers.

  28. avatar
    Helena Feio

    Eu was supposed to be like just one country and the people living there under the same rights and duties with equal opportunities. It’s not so.

  29. avatar
    Joseph Bartolo

    there is a great deal of changes that need to be made for the entire population in Europe, especailly in treating every citizen eauily in every aspect of life, no matter what class the person holds <3

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Joseph Bartolo
      I agree why should Luxembourgoise have twice the voting power of a typical Brit?

      Why should UK people give money away to Mickey Mouse EU countries without a payback?

      Methinks an individuals EU votong power should be a product of a nation’s per capita GDP v a nation’s population size – THAT should be the PRICE FOR SOLIDARITY!!

  30. avatar
    Sunshine Rose

    NO, I do not think EU represents solidarity for people.Solidarity is at this time only counting for rich politicians and big companies. People are getting screwed with some false hope. We want politicians who walk solidairty as they talk and get lower salaries.
    (P.S..: I am the ONE who always earlier in my life talked good about EU to other people- but not any longer- I just do not trust EU anymore).

  31. avatar
    Europa Federalna

    yes, i belive. I belive the “SOLIDARNO??” and I belive European Union as a federal state. We can build together futhure in “European House”

    • avatar
      R.

      I’ ve read the 51 comments: mountains of racism, conviction that the world monetary crisis is due to the Euro. And again and again the comments on Brussels. I know a lot of EP who work hard every day and who really care about our continent, where we live in peace for more than 50 years. I know, mr Farage, that I am a citizen of a non- country, where this EU-idea grew, after the atrocious war we went through…

  32. avatar
    Louise Mulholland

    There is not enough money to bailout the EU or greece ..the porblem cannot be solved with bailouts or money only with Debt relief. That means folding on some debt and burning bondholders instead of pouring more money into a black hole. Debt relief and then solidarity in the wild storm that follows burning bondholders yes. Pouring money down a black hole well whats the point?

  33. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @R.
    NATO stopped there being another major war in Europe NOT the EU.

    Besides the only 2 nations that need to be peaceful in Europe are the 2 warmongers of Europe namely Germany (it tried to conquer Europe 2 times in the 20th century) and France (it tried 5 times in the 19th century).

    The rest of Europe is either relatively passive or too small to launch a large European theatre war.

  34. avatar
    Con Rad

    If this is going to help Greece to restore economical prosperity why not. It is sad to read racist – nazis from UKIP trolling again. You look better on next year Scotland independence referendum, when you are talking about dismantling anything. Get your rhetoric to your nearest pub and share with your racist friends out there. Solidarity means we are together in good and bad times. My concern is that EU tax payers can not bailout Greek banks forever. If countries such as Germany or Portugal or Poland can record growth during these hard times then they are doing something what Greek don’t do.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      You clearly have no idea what you are talking about
      Nazism was about establishing a superior race, territorial conquest and creating a homogenous society where the needs of the individual are subordinate to the state – now to me that sounds more like EU ambitions rather than UKIP doesn’t it?
      UKIP are purely protectionist, they have no territorial ambitions and are concerned with one country and one country only, the UK. They may be pretty amateur as far as political parties go but at least someone is daring to speak out for the UK taxpayer instead of the usual political correct garbage where you cannot even say the word “immigration” without being branded a racist

  35. avatar
    JJ

    Sure the EU represents solidarity. Just look at the debt crisis. Countries didn’t have to offer bailouts to support ailing economies. Strong economies have taken on the risk and burden of less strong countries (asking for relatively little in return).

  36. avatar
    Irina

    Yes, EU represents solidarity and this solidarity is not just taking place, between high-level groups, or between countries that want to help each other in order to gain some future benefits. But this solidarity appears also between us, normal people, therefore when we see others, neighbours, friends, classmates facing problems we help them. Being an erasmus student in Italy made me understand that no matter where we are, who we are, and what we do if we see others facing problems we help them because is in our nature to help others. And also living in a ”global village” we, the Eu people, we help other people facing problems over the world and vice-versa.

  37. avatar
    Maria Rita

    Do you believe Europe should represent solidarity between member states?

    Yes , I believe Europe should represent solidarity between member states but actually I cannot see this, at all!

    What does ‘solidarity’ mean to you?

    From dictionary : “union or fellowship arising from common responsibilities and interests, as between members of a group or between classes, peoples…”
    I have to repeat myself , I cannot see this in Europe now.
    The only one interest are money and speculation against my country for example… Someone’s aim , maybe, is to buy Italy on sale ! A very good deal for sure! I don’t wanna talk about the eternal problems of Italy….
    Also this, UE seems to me to not be aware of the different problems of each countries and tend to fall in line all the differences .
    It’s normal that Italy wont never be like Germany for many different reasons ( Historical, Sociologic and cultural ).

    And how would you feel if Greece received a third bailout?

    It would be a sign, maybe, that UE is moving towards real solidarity… but I don’t believe in this… actually everyone cares only about money….

    • avatar
      Marcel

      OK, you just volunteered to sign of half your pay check to the EU, for them to do with as they please?

      Oh wait, you meant other peoples money, sorry about that.

  38. avatar
    Michael

    I think we (the Dutch) deserve to have a Greek island or two by now. All we do is pay and never receive anything. Politicians say we need Europe, but I don’t see why. I say we leave the EU together with Germany as soon as possible.

    • avatar
      Maria Rita

      Yeah … they ( the German ) just took Pompei ( thanks also our horrible politicians and corrupted administrators )…maybe you could take Coliseum if u like or also as you told some greek islands… I’m agree anyway that you should leave UE…

    • avatar
      Marcel

      Couldn’t agree more, Michael. But Rutte and Samsom don’t want to endanger their future EU job as kommissar or maybe protector of some governate to be set up later.

      We’d be so much better off without our money being siphoned off to pay for tax-exempt wages of EU-ites and banker bonuses.

  39. avatar
    Armand Renoncet

    Is it really a question of “solidarity” ? If the grecian banks fall, every banks in Europe are falling because all the european banks are exposed in Greece. EU was wrong since the beginning with Greece. Greece would never be part of the EU. Furthermore, by keeping the Greece in the EU, we forbid it to devaluate its money.

    • avatar
      Marcel

      I don’t see why it would be so bad if banks failed. I see through the scaremongering and its all an empty threat.

    • avatar
      Marcel

      Feel free to wire your money to Brussels. What’s stopping you? And while you are at it, might send your pension money too… solidarity after all, eh?

  40. avatar
    catherine benning

    No, the EU hasn’t come close to representing solidarity amongst its union members. And the reason for that is, those in the seats of power are not in step with the people they are supposed to represent.

    NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION. As the saying goes.

  41. avatar
    George Zeglinas

    It’s not solidarity all this…as a greek,I know that the money,was given to Greece returned back to the banks in 98,5% and only 1,5% was given to the society.Citizens of Europe pay not for the citizens for Greece,Portugal,Ireland etc but for making banks,richer and richer…Europe,just needs different policy and politics and we should prove it by giving our vote to real European-friendly parties as European Greens…!

    • avatar
      Marcel

      Would those policies involve taking from me and giving to you?

      I’ll be voting whoever is the most against that.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @George Zeglinas:

      You are totally right in your analysis, except, the Greens are incapable of running any state. Their thinking is too far to the feminine left. Their lack of financial nous is dramatic and this is not the time to vote for more incompetence of that sort.

      However, what we need is a solid leader of a new party. A leader with more than a spark of vision. One who genuinely knows what they have in mind for us, and more importantly, are willing to tell us openly what it is they see as our future. As a covert introvert with mayhem up his sleeve is not worth the imagination spent on thoughts of him.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @Marcel:

      Why can you not see it as, take it from us all to give to us all. A collective attitude to what is taken in, and then dispersed as a variety of benefits everyone gains from. Including the wealthy.

      What I mean by the wealthy is, those who will be unlikely, because of vast assets, to need financial assistance from the state. Although even those with stately homes have ended up with benefits of some kind. And in fact get huge kick backs from government via projects most of us don’t have access to. I know a man who inherited an Earldom, aristocratic title, and along with it massive swathes of central London property as well as money. And he gets all manner of benefit from government subsidies and quotas, paid for by the tax payer, and the ordinary public can never be party to these benefits as they don’t have the wealth to qualify for it. Are you aware that even Royalty qualify for agricultural and other benefits paid for by the tax payer, because of their vast ownership of land for example.

      However, collective funds make life bearable for us, roads, infrastructure of all kinds. Education, health care, and so on. So why do you feel you don’t want to be party to that benefit or a contributor toward it? Do you feel you gain nothing from being part of a civilized society? Or, is it because you center too much on who is getting what as an individual in financial hand outs. Because if that is it, the amount given to that section of the population, which could turn out to be you one day, is miniscule by comparison. No matter what the propaganda machine winds you up with.

  42. avatar
    Limbidis Arian

    @Marcel:
    Funny how you miss the point of “solidarity” altogether, and funny how those not hit by the recession are so quick to forget they may be a stroke of bad luck away from being poor and in desperate need themselves.
    I want you all these “do it yourself” people to imagine when you’re down on your luck, some asshole to come by you and tell you: “you know why you’re poor? because you’re LAZY”.
    Yeah…the ultimate INHUMANITY that…

    Food for thought, Marcel.

    • avatar
      Marcel

      Solidarity should stop at national borders. Our tax money should be spent on nationals here in Netherlands.

      None for other countries. Because what Greece means by ‘solidarity’ is to take from us and give to them.

      Feel free to give half of what’s left of your paycheck and pension funds so those ‘progressives’ in Brussels could pay themselves big fat untaxed salaries with it.

      We wouldn’t have deficit if it wasn’t for the rotten Eurosoviet and its banker allies.

  43. avatar
    Marcel

    @Catherine Benning
    I take it you missed the part where I am anti Eurosoviet, anti bankers

    Countries like Greece could make themselves instantly better off (ironically to our detriment) if only they would leave the wealth-destroying Euro. But their refusal to do so and refusal to overthrow their national politicians who keep them in (to protect potential tax-exempt jobs in Brussels) makes me feel no solidarity towards them.

    Why do they not want to be better off? Why do they insist on playing the bankers game by staying in the wealth-destroying Euro by any price? I don’t see any Greek organizing to overthrow Samaras and hanging him for treason.

    I have nothing but the utmost contempt for those who support the undemocratic Eurosoviet, the wealth-destroying Euro and the thieving bankers who bribe politicians to bail them out.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @Marcel:

      The Greek people are being robbed of those they would vote for by the bankers who have taken over their country. The incarcerate those they see as possible winners in an election. So they don’t have much choice when it comes to true successors. That which you, Marcel, hang on to relentlessly as a economic way forward is in fact what brought about financial failure and devastation to the entire Western World. And for you to cling onto this system as a way forward is simply because you must be one of the very few doing well out of it. Because all those who are suffering from it, which is by far the majority, feel that to repeat a a financial con that is a mistake only ever ends in the same outcome. So you are voting for another bust.

      http://rt.com/shows/keiser-report/episode-505-max-keiser-642/

      And this is a financial vehicle that may work? Could it?

      http://rt.com/shows/keiser-report/cameron-global-economic-policies-717/

  44. avatar
    Marcel

    And speaking of collective funds, which middle class person in the western world is willing to give up 80% of their wealth in order to level wealth out in the world in the name of ‘solidarity’? Would you sign up for that? No? Then don’t speak of solidarity again.

  45. avatar
    Fezzer

    New party in next year’s elections, the European Federalist Party. Now that’s solidarity! Pipe dream of course, it’s a nice thought but I tried to imagine an EU army in my head and just LoL’d.

  46. avatar
    Dinko Dinev

    Simple and straight NO. :)

  47. avatar
    Diogo Sc

    Antes de mais, vou escrever o meu comentário em português. Na União Europeia, as variadíssimas línguas e culturas não chegam a toda a parte como era suposto chegarem, e se nós somos uma União, não podemos sê-la, única e exclusivamente económica. Por isso, só com esta pequena introdução, descrevi o grande problema da Europa. Não existe SOLIDARIEDADE! Não nos enganemos, a União Europeia é uma união de interesses. União económica e financeira.

  48. avatar
    klassen

    Nope, but do we have any other choice.
    Your talking about history good and bad, and the europhiles think they can put everthing in one big can and sell it as democratic.
    Sorry wont work , first of you have to start of democratic, and well lets say its just not happenin.
    Brussels is like a big corporation in a big hostile takeover, problem is its us they want to assimulate, scary thought.
    In the netherlands we had a motion in parliment for a referendum, Timmermans our ambassador thinks the dutch dont have the intellegence for a referendum.
    This is what people are up against in all of europe, arroggant europhiles whom rule the day.
    They tell us were discontented because of the slow pace of reforms and integration, they are so far from the truth.
    People are tired of this whole project being rammed down thier throats , thats the problem in europe. Europe was solidair and always will be. When the europhiles have been given the boot we can all get on with first repairing the damage to our democracies, banks, constitutions.
    We need real leaders democratic ones, not the dictators in brussels, and last but not least,brussels should keep its claws of my country, my pension, my wallet ,our banks etc….
    Van Rompuy should have the guts to ask the countries to hold referendums , he wants to play president doesnt he , well then be a man and do what the people want , give them thier say…..

  49. avatar
    graaf

    The EU shouldn´t represent solidarity that only encourages free riding. The consequences of bad policies should be felt by those making those policies and the people who voted for those making the policies. The voters always blame their government for all ills but most of the time they got exactly what they voted for. You don’t want economic liberalism? and job protection, OK, you get economic stagnation and business going bust, not happy?, don’t complain you got what you asked for!, don’t come asking for ‘solidarity’ you made your bed, now lie in it.

Your email will not be published

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Notify me of new comments. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More debate series – Debate on the future of Europe View all

By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our Privacy Policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them.