Greek crisis

It has been sad to see the Greek crisis gathering pace, culminating in a Eurozone summit which, on condition of deep and intrusive reforms, allows Greece to remain in the Eurozone, and offers the perspective of another bailout.  But no one is under any illusions that the crisis is resolved.  It is clear that European integration has reached a very low point, judging by the acrimonious debates at all levels: official, media, and social media.

This post does not comment on substance but on process.  If there is a silver lining to the crisis it is, in my view, the birth of a European political space.  The long-living mantra that the EU suffers from a democratic deficit is well known.  It is coupled with a profound scepsis about the potential for ever narrowing, let alone removing, that deficit: there is no European demos, only demoi.  Democracy continues to be embedded in the nation-State, a conception most extensively articulated by the Bundesverfassungsgericht (German Constitutional Court) in its Maastricht and Lisbon judgments.  To put it in less elevated terms: all politics are local.  The EU’s main top-down attempt at instituting democracy at the EU level is tentative and has not worked well: the directly elected European Parliament is not a full sovereign parliament and its elections do not manage to transcend the local nature of State politics.  The democracy sceptics consider that all this is evidence that there can be no real EU-wide political space. Notwithstanding decades of – one would almost forget – largely successful European integration, we all continue to live in countries which are too diverse to enable us all to engage in genuine European political debate.  There is no European political space.

Or is there?  For anyone who has followed the Greek crisis (and has not nearly everyone, to some degree?) it is difficult to deny that we have seen and are seeing a genuine European debate.  It is a moral debate, about who is right and who is wrong; it is an economic debate, about the merits and flaws of the euro-project and of austerity policies; it is a social debate, about protection of people and solidarity; and it is a hard-core politics debate, on left and right, and on power structures.  That is not to say that there is no national dimension to the debate.  Views are clearly very different between creditor States and bail-out States, or, to simplify, between North and South.  Indeed, the debate is way too nationalist in many ways. But a European debate it nonetheless is.

How come?  The most immediate answer could be that the Greek crisis is so deep, grave and awful that people take an – perhaps unusual – interest in European politics.  If that is the case, this European debate is unlikely to continue beyond this crisis.  The European political space would be contingent and not enduring. But there may be a deeper reason.  It is becoming ever clearer that the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis has given birth to a European politics of redistribution. That is a historical shift.  European integration and its politics have never been about redistribution at the levels we now witness.  Yes, the internal market project may have some redistributive effects.  Yes, the EU has tried to develop something of a social policy, but it is limited and contested.  Yes, the expansion of the EU has some redistributive goals and effects.  But none of this is in the same league as the issues raised by the Greek crisis.  And when I say “issues raised” I do not refer to any objective academic assessment of the actual effects of bailouts and their financing, but to political perceptions and claims.  Responsible Germans financing spend-thrift Greeks.  Creditors bailing out German and French banks rather than the Greek people.  The euro project being to the benefit of the North (or Germany) at the expense of the South.  Right-wing eurozone politicians imposing austerity to the benefit of capital.  Etc etc.  And of course it cannot be denied that the Greek people are intensely suffering, that Germany and others are doing well, that we are speaking about a lot of money (even if Greece accounts for only 2% of the eurozone economy), that a default would constitute a transfer from the creditors to Greece, and that full repayment of the Greek debt requires further austerity, if either is at all possible.  All this is inherent in the euro project in times of crisis.  The idea, endorsed by the creators of EMU, that solidarity could be avoided by continuing to have each eurozone State responsible for its own fate has proven illusory.  The euro has created a politics of redistribution, and the crisis a European political space.

However, it is a political space which in institutional terms is dysfunctional.  For the politics of redistribution to work one needs a political system which crystallises debates, and enables, at some point, effective majority decision-making.  By majority I do not mean, in the eurozone context, a majority of Member States.  There is such a majority: the creditors are united in the conditions they impose – in fact Greece has accepted and its parliament has adopted legislation, so there is a consensus.  But it is not a consensus emanating from the European political debate.  It is a creditors’ consensus, and it is mostly determined by national political interests and debates.  For example, the governments of other Southern eurozone countries are resisting a good deal for Syriza, because of the political ammunition it would supply to anti-austerity parties, mostly on the left.  It is also a politically weak consensus, in the sense that it builds on established policies, institutions, and rules.  Once the EU has set on a political course, it is very hard to change it.  In part, that explains the failure of the negotiations since Syriza came to power: how many times have we heard that the new government had to stick to the rules and to what was previously agreed?

By contrast, it is no accident that at one level the eurozone has been able to evolve and respond: ECB policy.  This is an organisation which is capable of crystallising debates and making decisions.  It has a President who is able to say that the ECB will defend the euro, whatever it takes, as Draghi did in 2012 when announcing the OMT policy.  But of course the politics cannot be left to the ECB, because it is independent, hardly accountable, and not subject to the politics of democracy.

The analysis of the dysfunctionality of Europe’s political space is easy enough; which reforms to suggest is much harder.  The “federalists” of course have a straightforward solution.  We need to establish EU-wide political institutions with real decision-making powers, also in terms of redistributive politics.  To simplify: the Commission needs to become a European government, with a majority in the EP, and with a budget which allows for redistribution.  But it is pretty clear that the peoples of Europe (these are the “peoples”, plural, referred to in the EU Treaties’ preamble) are at this stage pretty reluctant to endorse such a federalisation – not sure they are aspiring to “ever closer union”!  Nor am I convinced that this is what European integration was originally aimed at: transcending nationalism is not the same as building a European nation.  So I think Europe again has to find what Weiler has called its Sonderweg to create a more functional European political state

Advertisements

RIP

I invite u as we lay d remains of ma late Brother late Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry speaker rivers state house of assembly 9/10/2013 @ Obuama Harris Town Rivers State Nigeria

Sir Whyte (Obed Witten)

Plane crash latest: FAAN confirms 15 dead, 5 survivors  

An Associated airlines plane crashed on Thursday morning, killing at least 15 people, just minutes after taking off at the Murtala Muhammed International in Lagos, southwestern Nigeria, aviation authorities said.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, said in a statement that five persons survived the crash which occurred at 9.32 am.
The propeller aircraft marked 5N-BJY crashed on its way Akure, the Ondo State Capital with 20 passengers on board, authorities said. It was not clear if that figure included crew members.
“We confirm today the crash of an Embraer 120 (plane) belonging to Associated airlines,” the statement read.
“The rescue operation commenced immediately with all the relevant agencies moving enmasse to the crash site,” FAAN said.
Authorities said the black box of the crashed plane has been found and some survivors were already being treated at the hospital.
“We call on the public to shun unconfirmed reports by avoiding speculation that could mar investigations into the crash,” FAAN said.
Our correspondent at the scene could not identify the bodies from the wreckage. There was smoke everywhere and the stench from the scene was heavy.
The Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, did not know what caused the plane. Tunji Oketunbi, AIB spokesperson said investigators have been deployed to the scene.
The plane was said to have been chartered to convey to Akure the casket of the former governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Agagu, who died in Lagos on 13 September, 2013.

Sir Whyte (Obed Witten)

sorry Nigeria

Former Rivers Speaker, Tonye Harry is dead

By Victor Ezeama on October 4, 2013

Reports reaching Dailypost has it that former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Tonye Harry has died.

Tonye Harry is a strong ally of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and also a serving member of the Rivers state House of Assembly

Information available to Dailypost indicates that the member representing Degema Constituency in the State legislature suffered heart seizure on-board a France bound plane from Algeria.

Recall that Harry collapsed at his residence while exercising earlier this week and the Rivers state Commissioner for Health, Dr Sampson Parkar confirmed that he was to be flown abroad for further treatment

Sir Whyte (Obed Witten)

war in santiago

Reported Arsenal transfer target Karim Benzema is
enduring a difficult time at Real Madrid.
What a difference a Mesut Ozil makes.
Even though the German did not have an ideal start at
Real Madrid this season, before he was sold to Arsenal
– a stat tells an interesting story.
With Ozil in the team, striker Karim Benzema scored
two goals in two La Liga games. Since he was sold
Benzema has not scored a single goal in the division, five
matches without a goal.
The French international forward has been a target for
the Bernabeu boo-boys, and that was before this
weekend’s 1-0 home defeat to rivals Atletico Madrid.
‘Bitter controversy’ forcing ‘destroyed’ £40m Arsenal
striker target out of his club
That loss really did not help his cause, with fans
apoplectic after Alvaro Morata was brought on for
Isco, rather than the Frenchman as Carlo Ancelotti
tried to chase the game.
Now even his teammates are turning against him.
Benzema became embroiled in an ugly argument with
defender Pepe, who has shown previously that he is not
a man to be messed with.
Mundo Deportivo report Pepe, ‘made ​​the gesture that
Benzema had not sweated in the derby, clearly shows
that for central French striker was not doing anything.’
Teammates Sami Khedira and latterly Sergio Ramos
intervened to calm the pair down during the second half
argument, which clearly helped nobody in the Real side.
Benzema has been linked with a January exit from
Madrid with Premier League side Arsenal linked
regularly over the past two months.

Sir Whyte (Obed Witten)

no more limitation

Memorise:
… for more are the children of the desolate than the
children of the married wife, saith the Lord.
Isaiah 54:1b
Read:
1 Samuel 2: 20– 21
A single contact with God can make the difference in
the life of an individual. For some years, some people
have laboured in ministry, business, academics and
career with nothing to show for it. If you are in such
situation, a contact that will usher a season of positive
change is coming your way. When the hand of God was
laid on Elijah in 1 Kings 18:41-46, he outran King Ahab
who had earlier taken off with speed on his chariot of
horses. How can ordinary legs overtake horses? When
God lays His hands on you, your progress will be so
rapid that none of your enemies will be able to catch up
with you. From the above scripture, we learn that when
God’s hand is upon you, the time you lost that worked
against you will be recovered, and will work in your
favour. Ahab ran ahead of Elijah yet the latter still
overtook him. Also, when God’s hand is upon you, every
limitation or deficiency that should have stalled your
progress will rather advance you. Imagine a man on his
two feet beating a chariot of horses! This tells us that
even when you lack the latest technology, you can still
emerge the best if God’s hand is upon you. This season,
God’s hand will rest upon you for good.
David, a young shepherd boy had contact with God and
he became a king (1 Samuel 16:11-13). Many people had
already written off Hannah

Sir Whyte (Obed Witten)

Transfer deadline day

Round-up: Transfer deadline day’s deals
Published on September 3rd, 2013
Written by: Daniel Prince
Manchester United have signed Everton’s Marouane Fellaini, while the Toffees have signed three players with the reported £27.5million transfer fee, Arsenal completed the signing of Mesut Ozil and Chelsea let a promising youngster go out on loan.

In a busy end to the transfer window, Fellaini’s move to Old Trafford was confirmed, while United have also sealed a loan move for Real Madrid’s Fabio Coentrao, according to the Mirror.

Fellaini has cost his former manager David Moyes £27.5million, according to Sky Sports, and Everton quickly spent some of that money.

James McCarthy joined from Wigan Athletic, Gareth Barry signed on loan and Romelu Lukaku also joined on loan for the season from Chelsea.

Stronger

That arguably leaves Roberto Martinez with an even stronger squad than he started deadline day with, with Leighton Baines still intact.

However, Victor Anichebe left Goodison Park in a £6million deal to join West Bromwich Albion, while Sunderland’s Stephane Sessegnon also moved to the Baggies.

Sunderland, themselves, secured the signing of former Liverpool left-back Andrea Dossena as well as current Liverpool striker Fabio Borini, with the latter joining on loan for the season.

By far the biggest deal of the day saw Mesut Ozil swap Real Madrid for Arsenal in a club-record deal.

According to the BBC, the German international cost the Gunners £42.4million, while goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano also moved to the Emirates on loan.

However, moves for Demba Ba and Abel Hernandez failed to come to fruition for Arsenal.

Premier League new boys Crystal Palace were also extremely busy, although they could not complete a deal for their former striker Andy Johnson.

Barry Bannan joined from Aston Villa, as did Adrian Mariappa from Reading.

Busy

Wigan were busy in the closing hours after losing McCarthy, and snapped up Manchester United midfielder Nick Powell and Stoke City’s Ryan Shotton on loan deals.

Swansea City signed Getafe striker Alvaro Vazquez on loan, while Peter Odemwingie finally got a deadline day move by moving from West Brom to Cardiff City.

Libor Kozak was a £7million signing for Aston Villa from Lazio – the striker was last season’s top scorer in the Europa League.

Steven Ireland moved from Villa to Stoke City on loan for the season, Norwich City’s Jacob Butterfield joined Middlesbrough and Gedo rejoined Hull City, but a potential move for Shane Long of West Brom appeared to break down.

Queens Park Rangers were busy, snapping up Tom Carroll and Benoit Assou-Ekotto on loan from Tottenham Hotspur and Niko Kranjcar from Dynamo Kiev, also on a temporary basis.

Michael Kightly moved on a season-long loan to Burnley from Stoke and Fulham signed Young Boys’ Elsad Zverotic.

Imposters

However, Manchester United’s move for Ander Herrera ended unsuccessfully and in bizarre circumstances as it was claimed imposters attempted to negotiate for United in their talks with Athletic Bilbao.

Liverpool made three early moves, bringing in defenders Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori, as well as Chelsea forward Victor Moses on loan.

Stoke City signed Marko Arnautovic and West Brom landed Morgan Amalfitano and Lee Camp, while Crystal Palace’s Peter Ramage moved on loan to Barnsley.

Away from the Premier League, Kaka completed his free transfer move back to AC Milan from Real Madrid.

Categories: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Cardiff City, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, English Premier news, Everton, Fulham, Hull City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Southampton, Stoke City, Sunderland, Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United
Tags: Arsenal, Deadline Day, Manchester United

Sir Whyte (Obed Witten)

GOD’s WISDOM

God’s Word really does open up to us the mysteries of the universe. It really does make us wiser than we could ever be without it. And yet, having said all this, it’s sad that we don’t take more advantage of this wisdom God has given us. It’s sad that we don’t think his thoughts after him, that we don’t require ourselves to look at life through the lens of his revelation. It’s sad that we swindle ourselves into thinking that we are wiser than we are. We’re not irritated by his foolishness, nor are we motivated to seek his help. One of the places you see this most clearly is in the struggles we experience in our relationships.

Why have I reminded you of all this? I encounter people everywhere I go who are discouraged and confused about their relationships. I want you to think about your own relationships and look at them through three perspectives derived from biblical wisdom. These mentalities are essential in creating and sustaining a healthy relational lifestyle.

1) You must live in your relationships with a harvest mentality.

Paul captures this mentality with these very familiar words: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). This is an essential mentality if you want to live with habits of reconciliation. You have to buy into the principle of consequences. Here it is: there is an organic relationship between the seeds you plant and the fruit you harvest. In the physical world you will never plant peach pits and get apples. In the same way, there will be organic consistency between the seeds of words and actions that you plant in your relationships and the quality of harvest that you will experience later as you live and relate to one another.

Every day you harvest relational plants that have come from the seeds of words and actions that you previously planted. And every day you plant seeds of words and actions that you will later harvest. Most of the seeds you plant will be small, but one thousand small seeds that grow up into trees will result in an environment-changing forest. Your relationships are continuously planted with little-moment seeds of words and actions grow into the forest of either love or trouble.

2) You must live in your relationships with an investment mentality.

We are all treasure hunters. We all live to gain, maintain, keep, and enjoy things that are valuable to us. Our behavior in any given situation of life is our attempt to get what is valuable to us out of that situation. There are things in your life that you have assigned importance to, and once you have, you are no longer willing to live without them (these principles are laid out in Matthew 6:19–33). Everyone does it. We live to possess and experience the things upon which we have set our hearts. We are always living for some kind of treasure.

Every treasure you set your heart on and actively seek will give you some kind of return. An argumentative moment is an investment in the treasure of being right, and from it you will get some kind of relational return. If you aggressively argue the other person into a corner, it is not likely that the return on that investment will be his or her appreciation for you, nor will it be the desire to have similar conversations again. If you invest in the treasure of willing service, you will experience the return of appreciation, respect, and a deeper friendship. If it is more valuable to have control than it is for your friend or spouse to feel heard, loved and understood, then you will live with the return of that in the quality of your relationship.

Investment is inescapable; you do it everyday, and it’s hard to get away from the return on the investments you have made. Ask yourself,

What are the things that are valuable to me right now, the things I work to experience everyday and am unwilling to live without?
How is the return on those investments shaping my relationships?

 3) You must live in your relationships with a grace mentality.

When I got married, I didn’t understand grace. I had a principle-istic view of Scripture that caused me to bring a law economy into all of my relationships. The central focus of the Bible is not a set of practical principles for life. No, the central theme of the Bible is a person, Jesus Christ. If all you and I had needed was a knowledge and understanding of a certain set of God-revealed principles for living, Jesus would not have needed to come.

I think there are many Christians living in Christless relationships. Without knowing what they have done, they have constructed law-based rather than grace-based relationships. And because of this they’re asking the law to do what only grace can accomplish.

The problem with this is that we are not just people in need of wisdom; we are also people in need of rescue—and the thing that we need to be rescued from is us. Our fundamental problem is not ignorance of what is right. Our problem is selfishness of heart that causes us to care more about what we want than about what we know is right. The laws, principles, and perspectives of Scripture provide the best standard ever towards which our relationships should strive. They can reveal our wrongs and failures, but they have no capacity whatsoever to deliver us from them. For that we need the daily grace that only Jesus can give us.

So, we must not simply hold one another to the high relational standards of God’s Word, but we must also daily offer the same grace that we have been given to one another so that we may be tools of grace in the lives of one another. Our confidence is not in the ability we have to keep God’s law but rather in the life-giving and heart-transforming grace of the one who has drawn us to himself and has the power to draw us to one another. When we live with this confidence, we look at the difficulties of our relationships not so much as hassles to be endured, but as opportunities to enter into an even deeper experience of the rescuing, transforming, forgiving, empowering grace of Jesus, the one who died for us and is always with us.

Three mentalities—each an essential building block for a healthy biblical, relational lifestyle. Each require the honesty of personal humility, and each encourage us to be reconciled to one another and to God again and again, and again.

Topic: Wisdom  
Tweet akokat
Email akokat27@yahoo.com
Print wiltex print
Categories secured
Best of the Blog akokat blog
Questions to Ask When Preparing for Marriage
10 Resolutions for Mental Health
Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank)
John Piper Interviews Rick Warren on Doctrine
Letter to an Incomplete, Insecure Teenager
How to Glorify God at Work
Beware: The Bible Is About to Threaten Your Smartphone Focus
What to Do If You Wake Up Feeling Fragile
Sexual Sin in the Ministry
The Mega Millions Lottery Is a Suicidal Craze
Don’t Give Up
The Story of Ian & Larissa
We Know They Are Killing Children—All of Us Know
Ten Big, Daily Reminders
Single, Satisfied, and Sent: Mission for the Not-Yet Married
Seven Things to Pray for Your Children
From Radical Lesbian to Redeemed Christian
The Truth (About Abortion) Will Set You Free
When the Not-Yet Married Meet: Dating to Display Jesus
by Sir Whyte (Obed Witten)

Sir Whyte (Obed Witten)

Pay All Debts

akokats

akokats

paradox

akokats