Showing posts with label CRISIS GROUP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CRISIS GROUP. Show all posts

Saturday, April 11

ITALIANI IGNORANTI O COMPLICI? QUESTO E' IL M.E.S.!

Il MES oppure ESM, sostituisce il Fondo europeo di stabilità finanziaria (FESF) e il Meccanismo europeo di stabilizzazione finanziaria (MESF), nati per salvare dall'insolvenza gli stati di Portogallo e Irlanda, investiti dalla crisi economico-finanziaria.[8] Il MES è attivo da luglio 2012 con una capacità di oltre 650 miliardi di euro, compresi i fondi residui dal fondo temporaneo europeo, pari a 250-300 miliardi.

Il MES è regolato dalla legislazione internazionale e ha sede in Lussemburgo presso un ufficio bancario privato. Il fondo emette prestiti (concessi a tassi fissi o variabili) per assicurare assistenza finanziaria ai paesi in difficoltà e acquista titoli sul mercato primario (contestualmente all'attivazione del programma Outright Monetary Transaction), ma a condizioni molto severe. Queste condizioni rigorose "possono spaziare da un programma di correzioni macroeconomiche al rispetto costante di condizioni di ammissibilità predefinite" (art. 12). 

Potranno essere attuati, inoltre, interventi sanzionatori per gli stati che non dovessero rispettare le scadenze di restituzione i cui proventi andranno ad aggiungersi allo stesso MES. È previsto, tra le altre cose, che "in caso di mancato pagamento, da parte di un membro dell'ESM, di una qualsiasi parte dell'importo da esso dovuto a titolo degli obblighi contratti in relazione a quote da versare [...] detto membro dell'ESM non potrà esercitare i propri diritti di voto per l'intera durata di tale inadempienza" 

Il fondo è gestito dal Consiglio dei governatori formato dai ministri finanziari dell'area euro, da un Consiglio di amministrazione (nominato dal Consiglio dei governatori) e da un direttore generale, con diritto di voto, nonché dal commissario UE agli affari economico-monetari e dal presidente della BCE nel ruolo di osservatori. Le decisioni del Consiglio devono essere prese a maggioranza qualificata o a maggioranza semplice (art. 4, c. 2).
Partecipanti al Consiglio Europeo del 24-25 marzo 2011, che ha provveduto alla revisione dell'art.136 del TFUE 
Il MES emette strumenti finanziari e titoli, simili a quelli che il FESF emise per erogare gli aiuti a Irlanda, Portogallo e Grecia (con la garanzia dei paesi dell'area euro, in proporzione alle rispettive quote di capitale nella BCE), e potrà acquistare titoli di stati dell'euro zona sul mercato primario e secondario. Il fondo potrà concludere intese o accordi finanziari anche con istituzioni finanziarie e istituti privati. È previsto l'appoggio anche delle banche private nel fornire aiuto agli stati in difficoltà. In caso di insolvenza di uno Stato finanziato dallo MES, quest'ultimo avrà diritto a essere rimborsato prima dei creditori privati.

L'operato del MES, i suoi beni e patrimoni ovunque si trovino e chiunque li detenga, godono dell'immunità da ogni forma di processo giudiziario (art. 32). Nell'interesse del MES, tutti i membri del personale sono immuni a procedimenti legali in relazione ad atti da essi compiuti nell'esercizio delle proprie funzioni e godono dell'inviolabilità nei confronti dei loro atti e documenti ufficiali (art. 35).

Tuttavia, un collegio di cinque revisori esterni (art. 30, comma 1 e 2), indipendente e nominato dai governatori del fondo, ha accesso ai libri contabili e alle singole transazioni del MES. La composizione del collegio è così ripartita: un membro proviene dalla Corte dei Conti Europea, e altri due a rotazione dagli organi supremi di controllo degli Stati membri.


La Corte Costituzionale tedesca ha posto un limite al contributo tedesco al salvataggio dei Paesi in difficoltà, evitando comunque di vincolare ogni singola azione dell'ESM al giudizio del Parlamento.

I diritti di voto di ogni Stato membro non sono capitari (voto personale), ma in proporzione al valore delle quote versate nel fondo. Le quote di capitale autorizzato e richiamabili sono emesse alla pari (prezzo uguale al valore nominale), senza essere in alcun modo gravate da oneri, mentre pegni e ipoteche non sono trasferibili. In caso di mancato pagamento, lo stato membro perde il diritto di voto finché non risolve la posizione debitoria, e il numero dei diritti di voto è ricalcolato fra gli altri stati. Ciascuno stato mantiene invece l'obbligo ("irrevocabile e incondizionato", art. 8, c. 4) di contribuire al capitale autorizzato, anche se diviene beneficiario o riceve assistenza finanziaria dal MES. Per tutte le decisioni è necessaria la presenza della maggioranza relativa di due terzi dei membri aventi diritto di voto, che rappresentino almeno i due terzi dei diritti di voto.

Nel concedere un sostegno alla stabilità, il MES inoltre persegue la completa copertura dei costi operativi e di finanziamento e vi include un margine adeguato. Il tasso di interesse oltre alla copertura dei costi deve garantire un profitto al fondo dal ricevimento della richiesta (art. 9, comma 3).

La responsabilità di ciascun membro del MES è in ogni caso limitata alla sua quota di capitale autorizzato al prezzo di emissione determinato. Nessun membro del MES può essere considerato responsabile, in virtù della sua appartenenza al MES, degli obblighi da questi contratti.

Tuesday, March 24

ESM, EC, ECB, OMT, BLA, BLA, BLA, BLA, BLA, BLA...

By Stefan Vlahovich - ESM and the European troika is a term used, especially in the media, to refer to the decision group formed by the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The usage arose in the context of the "bailouts" of Cyprus, Greece, Ireland and Portugal necessitated by their prospective insolvency caused by the world financial crisis of 2007–2008.

To launch EU bonds with a common guarantee, like the Coronabonds, not even. There are even those who propose a "donation of 20 billion from Germany to Italy, as long as no automatisms are inserted at European level". The ideas of Berlin's economic gotha ​​on how to support the countries most affected by the Coronavirus epidemic are first of all a corollary of the concept of solidarity of a certain German elite, unshakable even at the dawn of a potentially catastrophic global recession.

At the Eurogroup, the economic ministers of the euro area will discuss how to deal with the crisis that is now all coming and with a disastrous impact. In a nutshell, there are two orientations in the field: a debt instrument with some form of common guarantee, such as the Coronabonds (euro area bonds sponsored by southern countries and opposed by Northern Europe contrary to any form of risk sharing) or the use of credit lines in the Mes, where necessary to be accompanied by a Eurobond but in any case linked to "conditionality", more or less stringent constraints for the countries that access financial support instruments. 

The Ministry of Finance of the Netherlands has confirmed it, another country which together with Germany and Finland is part of the so-called "rigorists", reiterating that they will undertake to "guarantee the respect of an adequate form of conditionality for each instrument as required by the current ESM Treaty ". In other words, I'll give you the money as long as I can control how you spend it, perhaps by sending the notorious troika.

Anyone who advises the German Federal Government or has done so in the past is on the Dutch line. The gift of honesty should be recognized for the former president of the prestigious IFO Hans-Werner Sinn. What the ECB is doing with the measures announced last week is to "first and foremost" help the "French and German" banks, he said on DLF radio a few days ago. 

Of course, added Sinn, help is also needed by Italy but it is clear that the interests to be protected are first and foremost German, from his point of view: “I am thinking of the huge Target debt contracted by the Italians of 400 billion euros: if Italy were not to pay, one third would be paid by Germany ". 

For this reason the economist has proposed a donation of 20 billion euros to Italy, because “we must help our Italian friends, but openly and honestly and not pretend that the EU is doing it, but if we do, they are the our money and our free choice. " The border between solidarity and charity here is blurred, what worries us most "are these automatisms that are gradually redistributing large amounts of money through the ECB, which is not authorized to do what it is doing".

A few days ago Italy, through Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, made official the request by Rome through the Financial Times to resort to the State-Saving Fund but, specifying, without any form of conditionality. The resources should be used exclusively for the health and economic emergency. It would therefore be a new tool, since there is nothing in the ESM "toolkit" that does not provide for more or less stringent forms of conditionality. 
According to the Council of Wise Men of the German Government (today made up of only three out of five members: Isabel Schnabel was also part of it until 2019, today on the ECB Executive Committee), however, there are no alternatives to resorting to the Mes with its constraints.

"The countries currently affected by the crisis should submit a request for assistance to the European stability mechanism" which could grant credit lines to countries that request it "but would be tied to conditionalities," he said a few days ago to the German financial newspaper Handelsblatt Volker Wieland, member of the Expert Council. "This would then allow the European Central Bank to purchase government bonds from individual countries through the OMT." 

An unused program which, as is well known, allows Eurotower to purchase unlimited government bonds from a country that is no longer able to finance itself on the markets. And, as is well known, it is subject to the signature by the State concerned of a Memorandum with the fund led by the German Klaus Regling, the ESM precisely.

Even the President of the Council of Wise Men Lars Feld believes that the Mes is the most appropriate tool: interviewed by the FAZ a week ago, referring to the possibility for Italy to no longer be able to finance itself, said that "there is aid from the ESM and the Frankfurt Omt program. If Italy were to get into trouble, it would have to request a State-Savings Fund program linked to conditions and reforms. "

Berlin, for its part, today approved a "historic" package of measures. Finance Minister Scholz expects "at least 5%" GDP contraction for 2020. According to the Bundesbank, the German Central Bank, there is "unprecedented uncertainty" and it is "inevitable" that Germany will sink into a severe recession. For this reason, Angela Merkel's cabinet has given the go-ahead to the "fund for the stabilization of the economy", consisting of 600 billion euros and with 400 billion credit guarantees. 
Another 100 billion are made available to guarantee liquidity to companies overwhelmed by the coronavirus crisis. A further 100 billion are allocated to the credit fund for reconstruction (KfW). For the first time, the government plan foresees a deficit of 156 billion euros. Thus the "debt brake", anchored to the German Constitution, is suspended: since 2014 the government was able to pass budget laws without debt.

The response to the Coronavirus emergency was considered, and with good reason, "historic" for the size of the intervention. It is clear to everyone that it was possible to prepare it in record time because of a public debt of less than 60% of GDP. For this reason, it is not surprising that the German measures are on a different scale than those announced by Italy, France and Spain. 

EU governments immediately moved to prepare for the arrival of the recession announced in an isolated and uncoordinated manner, postponing talks on a common eurozone response to this week. Because, as never hidden by Eurotower, it is clear that this time the ECB's weapons (among those currently available) are likely not to suffice.

According to the German economic gotha, the existing instruments are already sufficient to face an economic crisis and possibly even sovereign debt, should it move to government bonds: "The SSF can be used," said Clemens Fuest, current IFO president. "It is a tool to be carefully evaluated", but at present "its use can be justified by the situation". 
How it works has already been said: "If a country requests the assistance of the Mes, the ECB can buy government bonds from that country in unlimited quantities". But only under certain conditions. It is admitted and not granted that the ESM can be enough to counteract a crisis of which nobody has understood the real extent.

Friday, October 26

UNIONE EUROPEA: "INVENZIONE SIONISTA DEL XX SECOLO"

Il B'NAI B'RITH: usa Bruxelles come un tassello del nuovo ordine mondiale. Oggi si puntella l'euro sul baratro del collasso fomentando la guerra in Ucraina e richiamando all'ordine una riottosa Germania. In Europa l'impero americano gioca il tutto per tutto. Il B'NAI B'RITH epicentro del Sionismo, NEMICO del popolo ebraico, poi, creò il Progetto degli Stati Uniti d'Europa: origine anglo-americana dell'integrazione continentale e della moneta unica. 

Oggi i suoi discendenti nel B'nai B'Rith hanno progettato e creato l'Unione Europea, come testa di ponte statunitense sul continente euroasiatico. La necessità di salvare l'euro ad ogni costo: guerra in Ucraina compresa. L'aspirazione all'unità del continente ricorre ciclicamente dalla dissoluzione dell'impero romano, ma l'attuale piano di integrazione europea è eterodiretto sin dall'origine dall'E'lite delle FAMIGLIE finanaziarie del fine XX Secolo, successivamente, gli eredi banchieri, piazzarono a Bruxelles, cuore dell'Europa persa con Hitler, un tassello del nuovo ordine mondiale. Oggi si puntella l'euro sul baratro del collasso fomentando la guerra in Ucraina e richiamando all'ordine una riottosa Germania. In Europa l'impero americano gioca il tutto per tutto. Kalergi Plan

CITAZIONI BIBLICHE CELEBRI 

Prendere tu non l'usura di lui, o di aumento ma temi il tuo Dio; che tuo fratello possa vivere presso di te. Tu non lo darai il tuo denaro a interesse, né gli prestano tuoi viveri per ricavarne.
(Levitico 25: 36-37)
E questo [è] la modalità di emissione: Ogni creditore che dà in prestito [dovrebbero] al suo prossimo svincola [it]; egli non esigere [it] del suo vicino, o di suo fratello; perché è chiamato liberazione dell'Eterno.
(Deuteronomio 15: 2)
Tu non prestare a interesse al tuo fratello;l'usura di denaro, l'usura di viveri, l'usura di qualsiasi cosa che si presta a interesse:
(Deuteronomio 23:19)
Poi ho consultato con me stesso, e mi sgridò i nobili, i magistrati, e dissi loro: Voi l'usura esatto, ognuno di suo fratello. E ho impostato una grande assemblea contro di loro.
(Neemia 5: 7)
Parimenti, [e] i miei fratelli ei miei servi, abbiamo dato loro in denaro e mais: ti prego, lasciamo fuori questo usura.
(Neemia 5:10)
[Chi] mi metterà non per il suo denaro a usura e non accetta contro gli innocenti. Chi fa queste cose [] non vacilli.
(Salmi 15: 5)
Il ricco signoreggia sui poveri, e il servo mutuatario [è] per il creditore.
(Proverbi 22: 7)
Meglio [è] il povero che cammina nella sua rettitudine, di [chi è] perverso [sue] vie, anche se [sia] ricco. Chi osserva la legge [è] un figlio saggio: ma chi è un compagno di riottosi [uomini] shameth suo padre. Colui che per l'usura e guadagno ingiusto accresce i suoi beni, lo accumula per chi ha pietà dei poveri.Se uno volge altrove gli orecchi per non ascoltare la legge, anche la sua preghiera [sarà] abominio.
(Proverbi 28: 6-9)
Guai a me, mia madre, che mi hai partorito un uomo di lotta e un uomo di contesa per tutta la terra! Ho né prestato a interesse, né gli uomini hanno prestato a me in materia di usura; [Ancora] ogni uno di lo punisca me maledizione.
(Geremia 15:10)
Egli [che] non ha dato via a interesse, né ha tolto ogni aumento, [che] s'è ritirato la mano, iniquità, s'è realizzato vero giudizio tra uomo e uomo, s'è seguito le stature, e ha tenuto i miei giudizi, per affrontare veramente; egli [è] semplicemente, egli vivrà, dice il Signore Iddio.
(Ezechiele 18: 8-9)
[Chi] hath dato via a interesse, e s'è preso aumento: vivrà egli? Egli non vivrà: egli ha commesso tutte queste abominazioni; perché deve morire; il suo sangue ricadrà su di lui.
(Ezechiele 18:13)
[Chi] ha tolto la mano dal povero, [che] non s'è ricevuto interesse né usura, s'è eseguito i miei giudizi, s'è camminato secondo le mie leggi; egli non morirà per l'iniquità del padre, egli vivrà.
(Ezechiele 18:17)
In te si ricevono doni per spargere il sangue;tu hai presa usura e aumentare, e tu hai trai guadagno prossimo con la violenza, e dimentichi me, dice il Signore Iddio.
(Ezechiele 22:12)
DAL NUOVO TESTAMENTO
E Gesù entrò nel tempio di Dio, e cacciò fuori tutti coloro che vendevano e comperavano nel tempio, e rovesciò i tavoli dei cambiavalute e le sedie de 'venditori di colombi,
(Matteo 21:12)
E vengono a Gerusalemme: e Gesù entrò nel tempio, e hanno cominciato a scacciare coloro che vendevano e comperavano nel tempio, e rovesciò i tavoli dei cambiavalute e le sedie de 'venditori di colombi;
(Marco 11:15)
 DALLA LETTERATURA
- “…io credo sinceramente, come voi, che le istituzioni bancarie siano più pericolose di un esercito in campo…” (Thomas Jefferson – lettera a John Adams )

- “Da queste due, se tu ti rechi a mente | lo Genesì dal principio, convene | prender sua vita e avanzar la gente | e perché l'usuriere altra via tene, | per sé natura e per la sua seguace | dispregia, poi ch'in altro pon la spene". (Dante Alighieri, Divina Commedia)

- “Dallo stato caotico dell’economia il genio SIONISTA sviluppò il sistema del capitalismo organizzato, grazie allo strumento più efficace: il sistema bancario.” ( "Henry Ford – L’Ebreo Americano” ) del 10 Settembre 1920.

 - “La razza, nel sionismo, è lungi dall’essere un puro dato biologico e antropologico. La razza è la Legge. Questa, intesa come una forza formatrice dall’interno e in un certo senso perfino dall’alto, nel sionista, fa tutt’uno con quella.” ( Giovanni Preziosi – “Dieci punti fondamentali del problema ebraico” – 15 Agosto 1937 – da “Come il Giudaismo ha preparato la prima guerra mondiale” – ediz. “Tumminelli – Roma 1939 )


E’ sufficiente sostituire il termine “guerra” con “usura bancaria” o “deflazione programmata” e la frase è facilmente riconducibile alla situazione italiana attuale. Invece questa affermazione è stata concepita nel 1944. 

Bruciava e brucia, ancora, sulla pelle degli europei la catastrofe dalla Seconda Guerra mondiale. Ma c’è chi, senza salire sul carro del vincitore, riesce ad analizzare il conflitto, lontano da retorica e ipocrisia. Uno di questi, uno dei pochi è stato: "Ezra Pound".

Ezra Weston Loomis Pound nasce ad Hailey nel 1885, compie i suoi studi alla Cheltenham High School, allo Hamilton College di Clinton e all’Università di Pennsylvania. Nel 1908 lascia gli Stati Uniti per raggiungere l’Europa e frequenta i circoli degli intellettuali di Gibilterra, Venezia, Londra. 

Nel 1920 abbandona la conservatrice Londra per raggiungere Parigi, palcoscenico per i movimenti di avanguardia culturale dove frequenta personalità del calibro di Francis Picabia, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Erik Satie e James Joyce. Nel 1924 si stabilisce definitivamente a Rapallo, in Italia, stanco dell’atmosfera urbana parigina

Ed è proprio in Italia che inizia la storia dolorosa e turbinosa del poeta americano. Negli anni precedenti la Prima Guerra Mondiale, a Londra, Ezra Pound aveva maturato una personale e complessa visione del mondo e della società, riconoscendo le forti criticità del sistema e della dottrina capitalista, così come quella marxista. 

Fu proprio questa sua convinzione che lo spinse a esprimere apprezzamento per i provvedimenti sociali del regime fascista di Mussolini in favore dei lavoratori, le opere pubbliche e la ricerca di una politica alternativa al liberismo, in cui Pound riconosceva la principale causa delle diseguaglianze sociali.

E proprio in Italia approfondisce lo studio di una nuova dottrina economica e sociale sintetizzata in saggi pubblicati sia in lingua italiana che inglese, come ‘Abc of Economics’; ‘What is Money for?’; ‘Lavoro e Usura’. Questi testi sottolineano lo spirito poliedrico di Ezra Pound, poeta, sociologo e attento osservatore della società. 

Lavoro e Usura’, pubblicato nel 1954, viene scritto verso la fine della Seconda Guerra Mondiale e rappresenta una lucida analisi delle cause e dello svolgimento di uno dei conflitti più sanguinari della storia dell’uomo. E questa onestà costerà cara a Ezra Pound, come vedremo. ‘Oro e Lavoro’, primo dei tre saggi di ‘Lavoro e Usura’, si apre con la visione onirica della Repubblica dell’Utopia, raggiunta per caso da Pound nel corso di una passeggiata lungo la Via Salaria a Roma. 

E’ una Repubblica ridente, equilibrata e onesta grazie alle leggi vigenti e all’istruzione ricevuta sin dai primi anni di scuola. Gli abitanti di Utopia attribuiscono la propria prosperità ad un singolare modo di riscuotere l’unica tassa che hanno, che ricade sulla moneta stessa: su ogni biglietto del valore di cento il primo giorno di ogni mese viene imposta una marca del valore di uno e “il governo, pagando le sue spese con moneta nuova, non ha mai bisogno di imporre imposte, e nessuno può tesorizzare questa moneta perché dopo cento mesi essa non avrebbe alcun valore. E così è risolto il problema della circolazione”.

Nella Repubblica dell’Utopia, i cittadini “non adorano la moneta come un dio, e non leccano le scarpe dei panciuti della borsa e dei sifilitici del mercato” perché la moneta viene riconosciuta come mero mezzo di scambio, senza cadere nell’erronea distorsione di riconoscerla come merce. Pensando alla situazione europea attuale è evidente il perenne errore della dottrina economica neoclassica (o neofeudale?) con cui non si riesce a instaurare un sistema economico funzionale all’economia reale. 

Secondo Ezra Pound la Repubblica dell’Utopia è un paese sano, libero dall’attività criminale dell’usura e dalle iniquità di borsa e finanza; i cittadini hanno creato una propria economia, funzionale ai propri bisogni e in cui è difficile rimanere abbindolati dalle distorsioni della finanza. 

Segue all’arguta metafora la descrizione della “Precisione del reato” in atto, Ezra Pound, parte addirittura dal 1694: viene fondato il Banco d’Inghilterra e lo stesso fondatore Paterson dichiarò chiaramente il vantaggio della sua trovata: la banca trae beneficio dell’interesse su tutto il denaro che crea dal niente. Ezra Pound chiama questa istituzione un’ “associazione a delinquere”. Paradossalmente è proprio nell’ultimo anno che la Banca d’Inghilterra ha ammesso che la moneta viene creata dal nulla. Così come allora, ciò succede oggi.

L’intellettuale americano ovviamente riconosce la funzione potenzialmente utile di banche e banchieri, essi forniscono una misura dei prezzi sul mercato e allo stesso tempo un mezzo di scambio utile alla nazione, “ma chi falsifica questa misura e questo mezzo: è reo.” 

Quindi è proprio il concetto di sovranità popolare e nazionale che viene sottolineato, evidenziando l’importanza di avere diretto controllo sul proprio credito e su una Banca Centrale nazionale e pubblica per scongiurare i rischi che derivano dal lasciare il proprio portafoglio ad un istituzione straniera non controllabile. 

Si può trovare facilmente un parallelismo con la situazione attuale: l’Italia, come gli altri stati federati europei, non ha gli strumenti per controllare un organo come la Banca Centrale Europea, di fatto una banca privata che eroga prestiti a debito.

Ezra Pound arriva quindi a delineare l’immenso potere dato in mano all’USUROCRAZIA. 

E proprio a questo punto che il poeta arriva a parlare della guerra. Le guerre vengono scatenate dall’Usurocrazia per mettere sotto il giogo del debito le nazioni sotto attacco finanziario. 

L’obbiettivo della finanza è costringere i debitori a rilasciare le proprietà attraverso la contrazione della circolazione monetaria. Questo è ciò che successe nel 1750 in Pennsylvania dove la Corona Inglese soppresse la carta moneta per stroncare un’economia che poteva diventare pericolosa per gli interessi del Regno Unito.

Ezra Pound nel programma radiofonico «Europe calling, Ezra Pound speaking», durante la guerra, sostenne che le colpe dello scoppio del conflitto non erano da imputare solamente a Mussolini e a Hitler ma anche agli speculatori della grande finanza che aveva interesse a far indebitare Italia e Germania. 

Ezra Pound, che nel 1933 viene ricevuto da Mussolini per esporre il proprio pensiero economico, afferma che la finanza internazionale si è infuriata venendo a conoscenza della mire italiane di raggiungere la sovranità economica, l’autarchia e di volersi sottrarre al grande ricatto del debito. Il poeta scrive a chiare lettere che “una nazione che non vuole indebitarsi fa rabbia agli usurai”.

Ma cosa è necessario affinché il ricatto dell’Usurocrazia vada in porto? Pound risponde che la colpa è da identificare nella nostra ignoranza. Un’ignoranza che deriva dalla disinformazione e dalla velleità della stampa, che è fondamentalmente controllata dalla stessa Usurocrazia. 

Viene citato l’odioso esempio degli advertisers, le grandi ditte e istituti finanziari che comprano pagine “pubblicitarie” nei giornali americani: “è idiota lasciare le fonti d’informazione della nazione nelle mani di privati irresponsabili, talvolta stranieri”. 

E quindi l’ignoranza e la velleità che permette la pratica dell’usura che altro non è che una tassa prelevata sul potere d’acquisto senza riguardo alla produttività e all’effettiva possibilità di produrre. Riguardo la pratica dell’usura Pound consiglia, ispirandosi al De Re Rustica di Catone, di avere la stessa opinione che potrebbe avere una vittima del suo assassino.

“L’usurocrazia (potere degli usurai, ndr) fa le guerre a serie. Le fa secondo un sistema prestabilito, con l’intenzione di creare debiti”. E’ sufficiente sostituire il termine “guerra” con “speculazione” o “deflazione programmata” e la frase è facilmente riconducibile alla situazione italiana attuale. 

Invece questa affermazione è stata concepita nel 1944. Bruciava ancora sulla pelle degli europei la catastrofe dalla Seconda Guerra mondiale e l’orrore nazifascista. Ma c’è chi, senza salire sul carro del vincitore, riesce ad analizzare il conflitto, lontano da retorica e ipocrisia. Uno dei pochi è Ezra Pound.

Per sottolineare il carattere di libero pensatore del poeta americano, egli si espresse anche duramente circa l’antisemitismo che caratterizzava il regime fascista e nazista. Egli dichiarava fosse inutile e ingenuo far ricadere le colpe sul popolo ebraico, e che si dovesse invece indirizzare la lotta contro l’USURUCRAZIA SIONISTA E LA SUA FINANZA, LORO, IL VERO NEMICO, CHE NON HA MAI AVUTO RAZZA.

Ma Ezra Pound pagò cara questa sua onestà intellettuale da uomo e pensatore radicalmente libero. Il poeta fu prelevato dalla sua casa a Rapallo da un commando partigiano e consegnato agli Alleati.

La notte tra il 15 e 16 novembre 1945, all’uscita del campo di concentramento del Disciplinary Training Camp di Pisa, in una jeep scoperta americana veniva trasportato Ezra Pound, anziano e malconcio prigioniero ammanettato. 

Indebolito e stordito dai molti mesi di carcere duro, rinchiuso in una gabbia all’aperto, esposto al sole e alla pioggia, il poeta era atteso a Roma da un volo speciale che, dopo trenta ore di volo e un paio di scali, giunse a Washington. Qui l’aspettavano un processo per alto tradimento, il rischio della condanna a morte, la diffamazione, infine 13 lunghi anni di internamento nel manicomio criminale di St. Elisabeth.

Così finisce il sogno della Repubblica dell’Utopia di Ezra Pound; diffamato allora da chi per convenienza salì sul carro del vincitore e oggi da chi rimane accecato dall’ipocrisia ideologica.

Oggi le sue parole a noi suonano come la profezia del disastro a cui stiamo assistendo: “Con usura nessuno ha una solida casa di pietra squadrata e liscia”; lascia la sua pesante eredità intellettuale a noi, incapaci di scrivere sopra il portone del nostro Campidoglio “il tesoro di una nazione è la sua onestà”.

(Fonti: “Lavoro ed Usura”, Ezra Pound (1953) e “Canti Pisani”, Ezra Pound consultabili all’archivio Nello Quilici e alla Biblioteca Ariostea)

Thursday, August 6

JULY 2015 AGGRAVATED TENSION IN THE WORLD

July 2015 saw a worsening of the situation in Yemen, where nearly 2,000 civilians have been killed since the war started in March, while in Turkey a dramatic escalation in violence led to the collapse of the state’s two-year-old ceasefire with Kurdish insurgents, and the launch of attacks on Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) positions in Syria

Meanwhile, a surge in clashes in Kashmir aggravated tensions between India and Pakistan, attacks by IS-linked militants escalated in Egypt, and Cameroon and Chad were both targeted by deadly and potentially destabilising Boko Haram raids and bombings

In contrast, the Colombian government and FARC rebels took steps to bring the peace process back on course after a series of setbacks, and South Sudan is faced with a unique chance to negotiate an end to its devastating conflict. 

Lastly, the nuclear agreement reached between the P5+1/EU3+3 and Iran in mid-July, provided it is approved by lawmakers on all sides, could mark a historic victory for diplomatic efforts in the face of entrenched global security challenges.

The conflict in Yemen deepened despite hopes for a Ramadan ceasefire. The UN-announced civilian death toll approached 1,900 as of 28 July, with 202 deaths in the previous twelve days and humanitarians warning of an impending famine. 

In mid-July, anti-Huthi/Saleh fighters backed by the Saudi-led coalition launched a major military offensive, retaking Aden and surrounding areas. In turn, the Huthis threatened a significant military operation in response to increased airstrikes. 


The fragile 2013 ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) collapsed following a dramatic increase in violence in Kurdish areas in the south east, and on 24 July Ankara started bombing PKK positions in northern Iraq. 

After a suicide bomb attack in Suruç near the Syrian border on 20 July, which left 32 people dead and was blamed on the Islamic State, Ankara launched airstrikes on IS positions in Syria on 25 July. 

Framing its actions against the PKK and IS as a “synchronised fight against terror”, the government, which also opened its bases to U.S. coalition-led forces fighting IS, has significantly scaled up Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian conflict, while PKK-related violence looks likely to worsen. ​

Elsewhere, militant violence in Egypt continued to escalate following the late June assassination of the general prosecutor, with authorities launching airstrikes in the aftermath of deadly attacks by IS-linked militants in Sinai. 

Also, Nigeria’s Boko Haram (BH) militant sect launched several deadly attacks in neighbouring Chad and Cameroon, and the Line of Control dividing Kashmir and the Working Boundary dividing Pakistan and Indian-administered Kashmir witnessed a surge of clashes.

In a positive step forward, a conflict resolution opportunity emerged in South Sudan after months of stalemate. On 24 July, regional and international actors including IGAD, the African Union, the UN, China, and the U.S. endorsed a draft peace agreement for South Sudan’s ongoing conflict. 

In a new report “Keeping Faith with the IGAD Peace Process”, Crisis Group called for the international community to support a realistic, regionally centred strategy to end the war, underpinned by coordinated threats and inducements.

After twelve years of crisis and 22 months of arduous negotiations, Iran and the P5+1/EU3+3 reached a historic agreement in Vienna on 14 July. 

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) establishes the most rigorous verification and inspection mechanism ever negotiated and rolls back one of the most extensive sanctions regimes ever imposed on any country. 

In a statement welcoming the agreement, Crisis Group calls for domestic parties in the U.S. and Iran to approve the deal, and to preserve momentum to ensure its implementation.

Saturday, December 20

UKRAINE: A VERY DANGEROUS WINTER

Winter in Ukraine is injecting further uncertainty into an already volatile conflict. Concerns are increasing about the strong risk of a humanitarian crisis in the south-eastern separatist-held areas of Donetsk and Luhansk. The separatists have a rudimentary administrative structure, few competent administrators, ill-trained militias and little in the way of a long-term strategy. They will be hard pressed to survive the winter without major Russian aid – financial, humanitarian or military. 

Ukraine, meanwhile, is dragging its feet on implementing reforms to address its manifold economic problems. Both Kyiv and the separatists are under pressure from their war lobbies. The near-term risk of further hostilities is high. There is an urgent need to halt the conflict, separate the troops, deploy substantially larger numbers of international monitors across the warzone and the Russian-Ukrainian border, as well as take immediate steps to assist civilians on both sides.

The separatists are clearly aware of their vulnerability, both in terms of security – their militias are a bewildering array of uncoordinated and poorly led military units – and in political terms – their inability to provide basic services for the population could seriously undermine their support base. They also admit an ambiguous relationship with Russia. 

They say that Moscow will intervene to avert major military or humanitarian catastrophes, but has no plans to recognise the separatist entities or provide major development or reconstruction aid. And they say that while Russia is playing a long game for the control of Ukraine, they are trying to stay alive for the next six months.

Renewed hostilities could take a number of forms. A Ukrainian offensive would almost certainly trigger a Russian military response, as Russian forces showed when in August 2014 they inflicted a devastating defeat on Ukrainian troops in Ilovaisk, near Donetsk city, stopping their hitherto successful offensive. The geographical status quo has prevailed since then. 

A ceasefire brokered in September has been largely ignored. A powerful group within the separatist leadership feels that they will not survive without more land, and clearly wants to resume offensive operations, in the belief that this would also bring in the Russians. Separatists are hoping for another “Russian Spring” – their term for Moscow-encouraged and fomented seizures of power in other south-eastern oblasts. 

And, should weather conditions impede resupply of Crimea by sea this winter, Moscow may intervene to open up a land route from the Russian border through Ukrainian territory. Either move would undoubtedly be viewed by the EU, U.S. and other supporters of Ukraine as a major escalation and lead to further sanctions.

EU and U.S. sanctions may well have deterred a further Russian advance along the Black Sea coast after Ilovaisk, and seem at the moment to be deterring any substantial separatist advance beyond the current frontline. They have also added to the pain of Russia’s economic downturn. The EU’s tough line on sanctions surprised Moscow, which assumed that consensus in Brussels would quickly disintegrate. 

But there is little sign that either the U.S. or the EU have thought about ways to de-escalate when the need finally arises. Russia is following a similar improvisatory path. It underestimated the implications of annexing Crimea or intervening in eastern Ukraine. It protects the entities from Ukrainian attack, but seems reluctant to do much more than that.

Improvisation needs to be replaced by communication between all sides. This would help defuse tensions, perhaps prepare the ground for consultations between the main warring parties, and allow all sides to concentrate on humanitarian assistance in the coming winter. Russia could confirm that it has no plans to recognise the separatists. 

It could reject the idea, often floated in Kyiv, of a major Russian offensive in the spring. Kyiv could similarly promise to refrain from offensive military operations during this period. It could spell out publicly and clearly to the people of the east what political solution it has in mind for their areas after the war, and offer a clear assurance that it will, with Western assistance, help rebuild the east. 

Such an approach by all sides would not only help Ukraine weather a dangerous winter, but also allow it to emerge in the spring with hope for the future.

This report concentrates largely on one of the lesser known aspects of the crisis – the thinking and capacity of the separatist leadership, their relationship with Moscow and their views of the future. It does not present an overall analysis of the U.S., European Union and member states’ policies on the crisis.

To stabilise the security situation in the east and start building confidence on all sides To the Ukrainian government and separatist leaders:

1.  Open channels of communications on humanitarian, economic and social issues to reinforce efforts to achieve a political solution. 

To Russia:

2.  Declare that Ukrainian predictions of a Russian or separatist offensive in coming months are baseless; spell out the exact nature of its political relationship to the separatist areas of the east, in particular that Moscow has no plans to recognise their independence.

3.  Propose negotiations with Kyiv to resupply Crimea by land during the winter, using the 2003 agreement with Russia and Lithuania as a precedent; and offer wholehearted support for a significant increase in the number of monitors on the ground in the south east.

To Ukraine:

4.  Announce that it will refrain from offensive military actions in the south east during winter.

5.  Agree to facilitate the delivery of emergency humanitarian assistance, if needed, to the separatist-held areas.

6.  Consult with the international community on ways to lessen the impact for non-combatants in Donetsk and Luhansk of presidential decree 875/2014, which declares illegal any bodies established by the separatists on the basis of their 2 November elections, and removes all Ukrainian government institutions from separatist areas.

7.  Reach out to the east, particularly Ukrainian citizens in separatist-controlled areas, and stress its abiding concern about their well-being; and address accusations that Ukrainian troops have shelled urban areas in Donetsk and elsewhere, and announce an open and transparent inquiry into such claims.

To Russia, the EU, U.S., Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other international actors involved in the peace process:

8.  Move urgently to demilitarise the conflict by substantially increasing monitors on the ground, both to separate the forces and closely observe the Ukrainian-Russian border; and declare the Donetsk airport neutral territory under international supervision.

9.  Draw up contingency plans for major emergency relief operations in Donetsk and Luhansk if the situation continues to deteriorate.

10.  Urge separatist and Ukrainian leaders back to the negotiating table.

11.  Continue to urge the Poroshenko administration to reach out to the population of the separatist-controlled areas.
To the EU, U.S. and other parties engaged in the peace process:

12.  Review sanctions policy to create incentives for Russia to de-escalate, and move away from a sanctions policy that is open-ended and does not identify trigger events specific enough to allow for their gradual removal.

13.  Declare a willingness to make significant financial support available for the speedy restoration of Donetsk and Luhansk once a solution to the conflict has been found.

“Both Kyiv and the separatists are under pressure from their war lobbies, and the near-term risk of further hostilities is high’s mandate”, says Isabelle Arradon, Deputy Chief Policy Officer and Director of Research. “The separatists’ improvised and rudimentary administrative structures are totally unequipped to handle any major humanitarian crisis should one happen”.

“There is an urgent need to halt the conflict, separate the troops, deploy substantially larger numbers of international monitors across the warzone and the Russian-Ukrainian border, as well as take immediate steps to assist civilians on both sides”, says Paul Quinn Judge, Europe and Central Asia Program Director. “The winter should be used to achieve the first steps toward a political settlement”.

Thursday, February 27

A NEW NUCLEAR WEAPONS TREATY ISN'T ONLY OPTION

In his 2013 Berlin address, President Obama announced his nuclear agenda for the second term and declared that, with a comprehensive review of US nuclear guidance completed, his administration would seek further “negotiated cuts” with Russia to reduce deployed strategic nuclear arsenals by up to one-third. This would mean a reduction from the 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads allowed by the New START Treaty, to between 1,000 and 1,100 warheads.

To implement this agenda of negotiated cuts, the Obama administration seems to prefer a legally binding new treaty with Moscow. But concluding a new treaty would require a negotiating process that would almost certainly be long and complex, ending with Senate ratification. Moscow is not likely to start negotiations on a new treaty while New START is in force (until 2021), or at least until it is fully implemented by the United States. (Russia has already met the warhead limits of the treaty.) Also, Russian approval of a new treaty would require a lot of political capital, as Russia would probably insist on expanding the scope of negotiations to include other factors affecting strategic stability (such as missile defense, conventional capabilities, or the militarization of outer space).

A new treaty is only one possible approach to weapons reductions, however. It is worth taking a look at the advantages and pitfalls of three other options: a bilateral amendment to the New START treaty, informal reciprocal reductions, or unilateral reductions. As surprising as it may seem, at the moment the last option may be the most feasible choice for the United States to make.

As with a new treaty, a bilateral amendment would give the Senate too much power over the fate of further reductions. The current political situation suggests that the White House would most likely fail to secure enough support for any further cuts. Obama’s Republican opponents are concerned that the remaining arsenal would not be enough to maintain a credible deterrence. They also claim that the president has failed to fulfill the modernization promise he made in exchange for New START ratification; therefore they would probably seek to link any further cuts to the status of nuclear modernization programs. Regardless of what the Obama administration prefers, defense hawks in Congress seem determined to prevent any further weapons cuts until their preconditions are met.

A bilateral amendment. One alternative to a new treaty is for the United States and Russia to set lower ceilings, but to stay within the framework of the New START Treaty. This could be done by attaching a bilateral amendment to the treaty—agreeing to deeper reductions under the same verification measures and treaty obligations (perhaps with an extended timeframe). This approach, however, would still require Senate ratification.

Informal reciprocal reductions. Another alternative to a new treaty would be an informal understanding that both Washington and Moscow would pursue deeper reductions without codifying new ceilings. This informal approach would provide flexibility, but the New START Treaty would still remain in force, guaranteeing the advantages provided by a legal framework—for example, verification measures. With this approach, Obama could skirt Senate ratification and implement reductions using his executive power to issue a presidential decision directive.

This strategy has its own set of dangers, though. Upsetting the Senate might interfere with other important objectives of the administration, such as ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, or negotiations with Iran. Obama’s Republican opponents in Congress could use their legislative power to block funding for the implementation of the New START Treaty or propose, as they already did, legislative measures against any reductions beyond those agreed to in the treaty. Although bypassing the Senate might provoke legislative retaliation, the informal approach has the advantages of a legally binding approach, and is politically and technically more feasible than a new treaty.

A problem shared by the options above is the absence of incentive for Moscow to come on board. Implementation of the New START Treaty provides important verification and transparency measures, but it might not be enough to keep Moscow interested in further reductions. Moving toward smaller nuclear arsenals is not necessarily important to Moscow, as long as the United States retains a considerable part of its strategic forces in reserve and could again upload more than 4,000 nuclear warheads in a relatively short amount of time. According to Pavel Podvig, an expert on the Russian nuclear arsenal and a Bulletin columnist, two things could keep Moscow at the table: the prestige of Russia’s special dialogue with the United States, and extending the scope of negotiations to other issues that Russia views as a threat to its strategic capabilities.

Unilateral reductions. A third option is for Washington to commit to further reductions immediately, without waiting for Moscow. In this case, Russia would not be given any veto power over further reductions. This approach also has the advantage that unilateral US reductions do not rule out the possibility of future reciprocal steps by the Russians. In fact, historic evidence (for example, the Presidential Nuclear Initiatives by the Bush administration in 1991 and 1992) strongly suggests that Moscow would probably implement similar measures.

As with informal reciprocal reductions, the unilateral path would be easier, from a legal point of view, than a new or amended treaty. And because Russian consent would not be needed, unilateral reductions would eliminate the need to include incentives beyond the scope of previous START negotiations. Although it goes against the pledge to pursue “negotiated cuts” and risks upsetting Congress, unilateral action is the least costly and quickest option. If the administration is committed to reducing its deployed strategic nuclear weapons to between 1,000 and 1,100 warheads, the unilateral approach seems to be the most feasible way at the moment, and past experience suggests that Moscow would eventually follow the US lead.

Saturday, May 4

SYRIAN CONFLICT AND TURKEY


As the humanitarian crisis reaches catastrophic proportions, Syria needs to open its borders to external aid, while Turkey and its international partners need more long-term planning to meet growing refugee needs and avoid having instability spill over the porous border.
by MEDSEV
Turkey has struggled to find the right response to the Syrian civil war, which has brought shellfire, bombs, militias, refugees, sectarian tensions and uncertainty to its southern border. It has so far generously welcomed at least 300,000 Syrians. But this number could triple this year and prove unsustainable, with Turkey and the international community slow to work together, the Syrian conflict in a stalemate and Syria turning into a failed state. The border province of Hatay – whose geography and population make it a microcosm of Syria in Turkey – epitomises the humanitarian and security challenges Ankara faces. But Hatay also shows how refugees can be safely looked after. Turkey should allow entry to destitute Syrians waiting to cross, and change its regulations so that it can better receive international funds and assistance. The international community in turn should be far more generous and engaged in support of the Turkish aid effort.

Thursday, December 8

Sarajevo/Istanbul/Brussels, 8 December 2011

The international community should start a process to close its supervision of Bosnia's Brčko District at its meeting next week and develop a new strategy to better help domestic institutions address governance challenges and corruption, while retaining the ability to sanction any attempts to undermine security.

Brčko Unsupervised, the latest briefing from the International Crisis Group, focuses on the strategic, autonomous district which is vital to Bosnia and Herzegovina's (BiH) stability and links the two halves of both the Republika Srpska (RS) and the BiH Federation (FBiH). Brčko, once seen as a model of ethnic coexistence and good governance, is now drowning in corruption and mismanagement. This situation is made worse by the growing country-wide crisis, with political quarrels blocking formation of the state-level government and adoption of 2011 and 2012 state budgets.

“Brčko's problems today are political and local, not due to external threats to usurp its territory or undermine its institutions”, says Marko Prelec, Crisis Group's Balkans Project Director. “Supervision is not helping anymore and the international community, led by the European Union (EU), should be applying other tools to support institutional reform”.

With its unique geostrategic significance, Brčko's status could not be resolved at the 1995 Dayton peace talks. A special international Arbitral Tribunal was established, eventually issuing a Final Award and creating Brčko District in August 1999, independently governed, belonging equally to both entities but under the exclusive sovereignty of BiH. An international supervisor was appointed in 1997 to oversee Dayton implementation.

Since 2005 there have been plans to end supervision as the conditions for closure – functioning and sustainable institutions – have been met. But it was postponed as new conditions were added amid growing concerns that the RS was seeking greater sway over district affairs. The Serb entity has now apparently met the last condition acknowledging that the inter-entity boundary line (IEBL) which splits Bosnia's two entities does not run through Brčko.

The Federation government, and the FBiH-based parties, should work to improve relations with local business and political elites. For its part, RS has legitimate interests in the district and has contributed much to its economic revival; this benign influence should continue and grow, but should not turn malignant and question the Final Award. Both FBiH and RS parties and local elites should find common interest in fighting corruption, strengthening independence of police, prosecutors and judges.

The Peace Implementation Council should use its meeting on 12-13 December to set in motion closure of Brčko's supervision over the coming months, but keep the Arbitral Tribunal open as a safety mechanism to modify the Final Award in case of a genuine large scale security threat. The Office of the High Representative in Brčko should close and a new EU office should open, to help stem corruption, strengthen rule of law institutions, and prepare for the EU accession process.

“The international community should not give up on Brčko and should keep the Arbitral Tribunal, the strongest tool it has to respond to external threats”, says Sabine Freizer, Crisis Group's Europe Program Director. “But the current challenge for the district is reestablishing rule of law and good governance which only local elites can provide with expertise and support from external advisers, especially in the EU delegation”.

Saturday, August 27

SERBIAN MERCENARY IN LIBYA ?

 

There are unofficial speculations that the captured Serbs are possibly from an agency which was securing people and objects in Libya. Those speculations further indicate that those were people from a group of mercenaries from all ex Yugoslav republics with war experience acquired in this region.
 
It is estimated that there are about 120 our citizens in Tripoli who stayed there after first waves of evacuation. Among them there is a group of seven medical doctors, technicians and nurses working at the Subrate Hospital. They did not plan to return. It is not known if some construction workers with Serbian passport have stayed in Libya.
 
As we learn presently in Libya there are about a hundred of Serbs working mainly on the jobs of infrastructure, water supply and energy. It is believed that more than 1,000 of our citizens have been left jobless due to events in Libya.

Wednesday, June 29

Afghanistan’s Heartland

The latest report from the International Crisis Group, shows that despite efforts to combat the insurgency in Afghanistan’s south, stability in the centre has steadily eroded. Transcending the limits of its traditional Pashtun base, the Taliban is bolstering its influence in the central-eastern provinces by installing shadow governments and tapping into the vulnerabilities of a central government crippled by corruption and deeply dependent on a corrosive war economy.
“Although the number of major attacks in Kabul has recently declined, insurgent networks have been able to reinforce their gains in provinces and districts close to the city, launching smaller attacks on soft targets”, says Crisis Group Senior Analyst for Afghanistan, Candace Rondeaux. “Taliban attacks inside the capital are not aimed at controlling it physically but capturing it psychologically”.
Nearly a decade after the U.S.-led military intervention began, insecurity and the inflow of billions of dollars in international assistance has failed to strengthen significantly the state’s capacity to provide security or basic services. Instead, by progressively fusing the interests of political gatekeepers and insurgent commanders, it has provided new opportunities for criminals and insurgents to expand their influence inside the government. With nearly one fifth of the country’s population residing in Kabul and its surrounding provinces, the heartland is pivotal to the plan for Afghan forces to take over from international troops by the end of 2014. It appears doubtful that President Hamid Karzai’s government will be able to contain the threat and stabilise the country by then. Following the announcement by President Barack Obama on 22 June 2011 of U.S. plans to withdraw 33,000 troops by September 2012, the insurgency is likely to push harder to gain more ground before the final phase of the military drawdown.
Stabilisation and improving security beyond Kabul will depend on confronting corruption in the capital and outlying areas. This will require a comprehensive reassessment of current anti-corruption efforts, which so far have proven ineffective. Building capacity in the judicial sector while weeding out corruption is crucial for lasting reform.
More support is needed for Afghan agencies with the combined mandate of countering corruption, organised crime and terrorism financing such as the Special Investigations Unit, the Major Crimes Task Force, and the Financial Transactions Reports Analysis Centre of Afghanistan. A broad review of the policies and operational practices of the country’s national intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security will also be important to ensure against abuses of power that may further fuel the insurgency.
“With just three years left before the bulk of international forces withdraw, the window of opportunity to expand security outside Kabul is fast closing”, says Robert Templer, Crisis Group Asia Program Director. “The fight against the insurgency can no longer be limited to the battlefield. It is time to recognise the real front in Kabul”.

Tuesday, September 28

Federation of Bosnia And Herzegovina – A Parallel Crisis

Federation of Bosnia And Herzegovina – A Parallel Crisis,* the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines how the dysfunctional administration of the larger of the country’s two entities has paralysed its decision-making, brought it to the verge of bankruptcy and triggered social unrest. If the newly elected local leaders continue to postpone reforms, hoping that country-wide constitutional change will happen soon and resolve most of the Federation’s problems, their entity risks a complete breakdown. The report examines a number of steps, however, that if taken could make the reformed Federation a cornerstone for broader improvements at national (state) level.
At all levels of the Federation, balancing collective rights with majority rule has created an unwieldy power-sharing architecture that frustrates Bosniaks and fails to protect Croats. Efforts to reconcile protection of individual citizens’ rights with the collective rights of the constituent peoples often do not work. Since 2009, the government has been unable to take basic decisions, such as making appointments to the Constitutional Court.
As long as the Federation remains functional, Bosnia is viable. Yet, the opposite is also true: “Bosnia cannot last if its larger entity is not in good working order or loses the support of Croats and Serbs”, says Marko Prelec, Crisis Group’s Balkans Project Director. “Federation reform would create momentum for state-level change and strengthen Federally-based parties vis-a-vis the Serb entity, Republika Srpska”.
The highly decentralised Federation is made up of ten cantons, to which the Croats cling but the Bosniaks would like to do away with. It has only a few areas of exclusive jurisdiction and shares most of its competencies with lower levels of administration. The result is a bulky bureaucracy, whose various parts are in competition or open conflict with one another, and a suffocating thicket of confusing and often contradictory legislation and regulation that stifles investment and degrades services. The entity government’s large share of the economy creates a nexus of political and economic power that the political elite exploit.
Long dominated by two large parties, the Bosniak Party for Democratic Action (Stranka demokratske akcije, SDA) and the Croatian Democratic Union (Hrvatska demokratska zajednica. HDZ), the Federation political scene has fragmented, making decisions and reform even more difficult. The new government must urgently confront economic and social woes, and the new parliament should immediately establish a reform commission to recommend, with international assistance, constitutional amendments and other legal and structural improvements. Major Federation reform would give impetus to state-level reform, while improving the livelihoods of the entity’s population.

*Read the full Crisis Group report on our website: http://www.crisisgroup.org