Alex Foti on Tue, 30 May 2017 23:02:19 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> merkel, macron: europe on its own

merkel-macron go on the liberal offensive to give europe political
cohesion, show muscular resolve to putin (meaning european rearmament
and a european army down the way - something the irish and others
in the eurozone might object to - i consider it inevitable) and
especially react to american hostility.

merkel, by pronoucing the atlantic alliance dead after trump's latest
anti-german attack (on car imports) and exhorting the euros to forge
their destiny without the anglos, is also stealing the european card
from schulz's clumsy hands. she seems destined for re-election after
the SPD's defeat in the Ruhr. just like in 2015 on migration, she has
decide to take the brave rather than the comfortable position, leaving
political competition scrambling. macron is on her same score on
america and russia and the two countries' geopolitical stance is now
closer than it's been since the days of schmidt and giscard. germany
will concede on debt and military, and france will further germany's
agenda to make europe grow through exports to china (a eu-china summit
is soon due).

the european ideal is becoming popular again because after seeing
what's happened in 2016, the cosmopolitan youth, educated middle
classes, working women know what they have to lose if europe goes
national-populist. is this a travesty or a shift in european
neoliberalism? i think austerity will be shelved but don't expect
european keynesianism, also because the ECB will be headed a couple of
years from now by Germany, and anyway the age of QE and neg rates is

looking outside europe, corbyn is making an astounding comeback thanks
to a very well constructed and presented political program and cool
campaigning live and on social media (arsenal and the FA cup). call it
smart populism - it's an egalitarian platform (free school lunches,
free childcare, free higher education) and it has popular appeal after
the social ravages inflicted by tory spending cuts, which theresa may
would like to unconscionably deepen. he is now arguing he'll have
a better deal on brexit than contentious may. also the manchester
massacre of adolescent girls has made may look incompetent. of the
two mavericks of the english-speaking left, i think sanders is more
in tune with the times - but hey if corbyn wins it means socialism
can still be sold to voters as an alternative to conservatism and

going back to european social democracy, i must say the diagnosis
of a senile death is not exaggerated. past collaboration with
neoliberalism won't be forgiven by voters. ok they are still in power
in sweden and portugal, but that's about it. that's not to say the
red left will profit from it, also because bolivarianismo now looks
seriously tainted. however french legislative elections in early
june will give us a sense of how much the left has been transformed
by the combination of macron and mélench= on and the likely
disappearance of mitterrand's PS in favor of some ecosocialist

to me a viable opposition to either national populism or centrist
liberalism is ecofeminist populism of the sort embraced by Barcelona,
where Ada Colau will soon preside over a sort of municipalist
international in early june. personal preferences aside, the search
is still on for an ideological project that can federate the people
fighting for equality (gender+social) and climate justice. let's see
what emerges from hamburg's cauldron in early july. fact is that
european liberalism continues to gloss over its greatest weakness, the
creation of a mass of jobless and precarious youth that is raucously
demanding to foot the social bill of a decade of recession, or else.

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