If the European Union was simply a way of easing trade barriers between 27/28 (Brexit depending) countries in a compact continent, it would have a great deal of merit. But because the tin-pot imperialists of Brussels think they can transform the EU into an empire that speaks with one voice, tensions are inevitable. Renewed sanctions against Russia have exposed these tensions and weakened various EU economies whilst having little impact on Russia.
The anti-Russian sanctions were brought about because of the neo-liberal ideological dogmas of Angela Merkel who during her time as Chancellor has become increasingly anti-Russian. She has of course been encouraged by a combination of hardline anti-Russian fanatics like former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt and of course the paranoid out of touch anti-Russian hystericals in Poland and the three Baltic states.
But there’s a great deal more to Europe than that. Mediterranean Europe does not buy into the ridiculous anti-Russian narrative for two reasons.
First of all, because of how the neo-liberal EU has destroyed many Mediterranean economies, the neo-liberal crusade isn’t something most people in countries like Greece, Italy or Cyprus can relate to in any way.
Secondly, throughout much of history, southern Europe has had good relations with Russia.
Greece and Cyprus are fraternal Orthodox nations, whilst Italy has never had any historical disputes with Russia. Throughout the Soviet period, most Italian governments and the majority of the Italian people never had a ‘red scare’ the way many others in non-Communist European countries had.
It therefore shouldn’t be surprising that Italy may lead the way in trying to pull Brussels away from her sanctions regime against Russia, which is doing little, other than cutting Italian producers out of the Russian market.
Turkey, Serbia, Latin American countries and Asian countries are all too happy to provide Russian consumers with warm weather agricultural products and many are cheaper than those coming from the euro-tied Italian state.
Speaking with Sputnik, Italian international relations expert Fulvio Scaglione stated that even the neo-liberal, pro-EU government of former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was opposed to sanctioning Russia.
The current caretaker Italian government formed in the aftermath of Renzi’s referendum defeat in December of 2016, is even more likely to want to establish its own legitimacy by leading a pragmatic fight against sanctions.
One of the most depressing aspects of the EU is that it binds all member states to sign up to the will of Brussels, which generally follows the Germany political agenda.
Had Italy or for that matter Greece, Spain, Cyprus or Portugal not been in the EU, it is inconceivable that any of those states would have signed up to anti-Russian sanctions.
Empires, federations and confederations cannot govern without the consent of the governed, unless it is through force. Increasingly, the EU is using political and economic blackmail to stifle the wishes of member states.
This has been made clear by the economic imperialism imposed on Greece and Cyprus, the political strait-jacket imposed over Italy and even the politically bullying that Poland is now experiencing.
Interestingly, many of the East European countries who instinctively (however foolishly) favour anti-Russian policies are also worried by the aims of further political unification coming out of Brussels. Rather than having a clear north-versus south divided, the countries and peoples of Europe are divided on many levels.
There is little consensus over many issues ranging from non-EU immigration, anti-Russian economic policies, hyper neo-liberal economics to how to deal with Brexit.
Although the leaders in Brussels prefer to bury their heads in the sand, the truth is that the centre cannot hold. They can lie to themselves all they want but they cannot lie to the peoples of Europe forever.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.