Τετάρτη, 28 Σεπτεμβρίου 2016

TTIP: the Impact on the Greek Democracy, Economy and Society| Study Summary | English Edition


The present survey has been conducted under the request of Nature Friends Greece by the collaboration of two research teams, a) the Laboratory of Applied Economics and Development of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and b) the Alternative Trade Network / Research and Development Cooperative. This brochure is the abridged version of a more extensive edition which covers 96 pages, iincluding info-graphics, diagrams and explanatory pictures. The full version is available to download for free at www.naturefriends.gr

NATURE FRIENDS GREECE position in brief regarding new generation trade deals:
Naturefriends Greece is one of the key players involved in the Greek Initiative STOP TTIP-CETA-TiSA, they administer the namesake blog from 2014 and their positions on the predatory trade deals, in brief, are:
i. Transatlantic Trade Deals TTIP and CETA are two sides of the same coin. Most of the findings of the present survey regarding the negative effects of TTIP in Greece apply for CETA too,
ii. Anyone opposing TTIP should be against CETA as well, in case TTIP negotiations fail to conclude, multinationals could access TTIP, through the back door, CETA, by their subsidiaries in Canada.
iii. In order to confront the multinationals attack and the governments which are supportive to the trade deals we have to, a) Build an eco-socialism alternative in contradiction to the modern neoliberal model, b) Strengthen Cooperation of the Civil Society at national, european and international level
c) To be supportive at social and solidarity economy enterprises and at self-organized ventures.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Part- nership (TTIP), belongs to the “new generation” of trade agreements. Together with Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is one of the most important forthcoming steps for the wide-ranging transformation of the bourgeois society and capitalism.
The study «TTIP: The Impact on the Greek Democracy, Economy, and Society" constitutes a substantial resistance to the EU’s secrecy; a contribution so that the European societies will not have to accept the results of transatlantic, supranational negotiations as a fait accompli.
The analysis is based upon a theoretical model according to which TTIP is jointly shaped by two systemic trends. First, the trend of the neoliberal transformation of the bourgeois society, which is the necessary response to the persistent, contemporary structural capitalist crisis. Secondly, the tendency of a newly formed bipolarism: on the one hand the pole of western bourgeois tradition; on the other, the pole formed by the two main operators of the postmodern capitalist totalitarianism in the East and the Eurasian territory, China and Russia. 
Therefore the necessity for a closer collaboration of the West is even more urgent. During the last decade, this has been served mainly (among other initiatives) by the forthcoming TTIP. Transatlantic Partnership is not
simply a neoliberal integration agreement; moreover it constitutes the compulsory rallying of “western” trade
and capital resources in order to confront the emerging Sino-Russian (and not only) concurrence.

Greece, given the unfortunate synchronization of 1) its inherent structural weaknesses with 2) the effects of the International recession and the financial crisis in 2009, became the most appropriate field on European ground for a pilot application of an intense neoliberal restructuring. 

The imposition of the Memorandums together with the economic crisis constitute a turning point in modern Greek history forming new economic and political conditions. Therefore, the present study has a particular significance compared to relevant studies carried out for the other European economies. First, it highlights the
already formed social deterioration, the democracy decline and the structural economic change against the interests of SMEs and labor that were imposed during the seven-year memorandum period. Thereby, we unfold the future of the rest EU societies following the adoption of TTIP. Greece is a useful case-study on the
socioeconomic impact of all measures and restructurings that will be caused by the transatlantic integration.
Second, it presents the further consequences of the Transatlantic Partnership in an economy that has already been in a long, intentional recession (due to the policy of "internal devaluation") suffering a 1/4 loss of domestically produced wealth and almost 25% unemployment.
On the contrary, a part of the Greek society decided to claim its right for its future and to act against TTIP and its consequences. After all, the deeper, structural characteristics of the Greek economy - discussed in the text – favor the development of an alternative, cooperative model, which is diametrically opposed to the neoliberal transformation.
Based on the above we claim for a radical policy change in Greece: from being a field of the most violent, advanced neoliberal restructuring, to become a paradigm for an alternative path towards a mature systemic change, the democratic completion, the socialist transformation, a socially fair and environmentally sustainable development, according the social and techno-economic prospects of our time.

TTIP basically serves the four pillars of globaliza- tion, deregulation, technocratic policy and the interests of large enterprises, providing the appropriate framework for the creation of a single economic area between the EU and the USA. This is accomplished by establishing procedures of technocratic rather than political nature, by minimizing the influence of social and democratic processes, the liberalization / privatization of public services and goods and by the total withdrawal of labor, social and environmental acquis. Moreover, the compulsory and irreversible compliance of the two parties is being foreseen, by generating processes of "horizontal" application such as the regulatory cooperation and the dispute settlement mechanism. So the contents of the agreement are permanently sealed and dominant over national laws.

In Greece, we are already experiencing similar impact. In the name of debt servicing and the recovery of the economy, the country has been implementing harsh austerity measures and liberalization policies under the memoranda commitments. The deregulation, the extinction of small and medium entrepreneurship, the reduction of social protection and the limitation of democracy have already created a new reality. 

The similarities between the two in terms of impact are many, with TTIP appearing to be broader and introducing two key differences: First the geographical and temporary character, since TTIP foresees extensive and continuous processes, in contrast to the Memoranda that are presented as temporary and geographically limited. Secondly, the service to the interests of big enterprises that brings economic impact to countries that do not comply, constitutes a permanent threat that ensures the strict implementation with the provisions.

Main Findings: 
The memoranda regime serves as a small range implementation of the same goals served by the “new generation” trade agreements, although it came into being under a different pretext and appears to be temporary. It resembles a pilot implementation from which useful examples are derived. TTIP is not enforced somewhere far from daily life, but is here to vastly change the latter:
  •  Greek government independence in policy making is revoked, while the democratic ways of assertion anddialogue are weakened. Government decisions already require the approval of its lenders.
  • The margins of domestic policy making based onspecific local needs and conditions are nullified as aresult of the supranational and technocratic natureof the foreseen mechanisms. When it comes to Greece, supranational organizations that operate taking into account only the memoranda obligationsalready have the final word.
  • The course of liberalization of public services is consolidated. A course that was rigidly set throughthe memoranda and is generalized through TTIP. The limitation of services that remain under statecontrol is expected. Only those clearly declared as such will remain public. The sectors to be liberalizedare listed within the memoranda obligations while for privatizations ETAD – also known as ‘superfund’has been created.
  • The liberalization of public goods like water and energy is expected – in accordance with thememoranda – as the pressure for commercialization and complete liberalization is increasing, while public insurance and health services are among thefirst targets of private capital.
  • Small and medium enterprises are threatened through the opening of small local markets to international competition. They also do not benefit from the harmonization of regulations since theiractivity is mostly domestic. They already have suffered under the consequences of the memorandapolicies and the competition of large enterprises.
  • The majority of the Greek Protected Destination of Origin and Geographical Indication products will not be recognized as such. The EU has officially recognized 101 Greek PDO and PGI products, while only 21 of them are being considered during the TTIP negotiations.
  • Further loss of jobs and limitation of labor rights and standards are also expected. Labor rights are considered by enterprises to be redundant expenses and the harmonization of the regulations in the EU and the USA will finally lead to deregulation, aspects of which have already been implemented through the memoranda. 
  • A development model based on the complete exploitation of the environment with simultaneous plunder on natural resources, in the benefit of multinational enterprises is promoted. A series of measures, institutions and mechanisms derived by the memoranda are strengthened and solidified.
  • The sidelining of the precautionary principle will bring loosening in standards and regulations. Therevocation of restrictions – originally implemented on account of environmental and public health protection – on pesticides, chemicals and growth hormones. The food sector regulations will also be affected with the introduction of GMO (the first rule to be affected is that of labeling), cloning and nanotechnology food products.
  • This deregulation will not be reversible. According to the terms of the agreement, any corrective action towards the treatment of negative consequences of deregulation will not be feasible. All attempts to re-regulate or re-nationalize will be banned through special ‘lock’ and ‘freezing’ mechanisms foreseen to protect liberalization and privatization. In conclusion the implementation of TTIP will be generalized and permanent, as opposed to the memoranda that are presented as a mechanism limited in duration and area of implementation.

1 σχόλιο:

  1. The EU is NOT the problem!!!! because in fact most Europeans - ESPECIALLY "big bad Germany" - and the European Parliament are vehemently against TTIP - THAT IS WHY there are now more slimy fucking US/UK bankster/corporate lobbyists in Strasbourg and Brussels than the cesspits of Washington and London!

    If "ring fencing" and protecting the parasitic city of London is the elephant in the room, TTIP is a fracking great mammoth!!!!!!! time to wake the fracking hell up... we are ALL being screwed by the same fracking parasites... and for all those that have "forgotten" WHERE and WHY this whole criminal insanity started, here's a little reminder... (hint... it wasn't the EU)