The Ukrainian goose & Greek gander

The following is about the Ukraine, hardly a model of transparency, accountability and democracy. But it is interesting for what it tell us about the thinking of the great imperial powers (GIPs). On the one hand today’s GIPs make a great to-do about the need for democracy, often insisting that it is a condition for aid or IMF financing. On the other, they choose to ride roughshod over Greece’s democracy…and demand, e.g. that Greece’s forthcoming elections be cancelled, or postponed – in case they reject the demands of the GIPs. (See Wolfgang Munchau’s piece ‘Greece must default if it wants democracy’  in the Financial Times of 20 February, 2012.)

And so we read about the Ukraine, which it seems is just not democratic enough for the GIPs. As a result, and again according to the FT (14 February, 2012)

“It’s looking less and less likely that Ukraine, its fragile economy bracing for a eurozone-driven slowdown, will get a boost of confidence and cash any time soon from the International Monetary Fund.

 In a weekend interview on Ukraine’s TVi television channel, Philip H Gordon, US assistant secretary of state, said:

 “Typically the IMF will focus in on more narrow criteria that are solely in the economic area. Those conditions are hard enough to meet. But I do think that in reality if a country is seen to be violating its democratic obligations, it becomes more difficult for international institutions to support them, especially in this climate where there’s a lot of pressure on funding and a lot of countries that need support.”

Our advice to the people of Greece: it would be unwise to alienate one of the Great Imperial Powers by “violating..democratic obligations”. If Greece were to do so, it would become “more and more difficult for international institutions to support them…..”

 

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