First, 2-3 days ago Bulgarian media have modestly and laconically informed the public how Germany has alarmed that dangerous eggs with traces of the toxic insecticide Fipronil have been found in these three countries. Hens have been sprayed with it in order to be protected by fleas, lices and ticks. But its presence in foods could cause problems with the kidneys, the liver and the thyroid.
The Bulgarian Agency for Food Safety, full of attention, immediately demonstrated a determined, life-affirming stance that the dangerous eggs have not reached our market. But at the same time a whole bunch of media, full of care, said that that it would be safer if we buy only hen products of Bulgarian origin. But if Belgian, Dutch and German poultry farms have used the insecticide together with other chemical substances, who can guarantee that the local producers have used the same or a similar harmful chemical?
Germany blocked the export of Dutch eggs and began to destroy the already imported goods, as the agencies on food safety and the investigators in Belgium and Netherlands started to close down poultry farms, that have used the chemical and to conduct investigations. Of course, the dangerous insecticide has been used in thousands farms of this kind, including for the so-called “happy hens”, starting in 2016.
The agricultural minister of one of the most affected German provinces Lower Saxony – Cristian Meier, said before ZDF that not 3 million (number provided by the federal government), but around 10 million of the spoiled eggs have been sold in Germany. According to Meier who has ordered an urgent check how dangerous is the consummation not only of the eggs, but also of the meat of the hens that are treated with the chemical, “the scandal that has started from the eggs, has not yet reached its culmination”…
A similar food hysteria took place in Germany six years ago. Do you remember “the poisonous Spanish cucumbers” that were said to carry the bacterium Escherichia coli? At that moment Berlin forbid the import of fruits and vegetables from Spain, already heavily struck by the crisis and by the Angela Merkel’s austerity. And then it turned out that the bacterium’s invasions has started from a lettuce bio farm in Germany itself…
It is possible that the current panic lies on exaggerated facts. Or it could not – and it could turn out that a scheme for shortcutting through rules and sanitary norms, for infractions, for weak control, for lack of responsibility, and for inefficacy of empty directives has been uncovered… But what could follow? Are the European Commission and the European Parliament able to sanction themselves on the grounds that they haven’t established a mechanism that prevents from such cases? Or everything will soon fade away, swept by the desire not to harm the corporative interests of poultry lobbies and those of the chemical industry, or “help god” of the European institutions and of the leading countries in the EU…
The “egg” case could serve as an emblem of the toxicosis that is on its way to destroy the European Union – which has been sold for decades as a seducing model of social progress, but at the same time poisons itself with harmful practices that contradict its principles.
The European Union also carries the paradox of “the happy hen”, which is plagued by insecticides together with her eggs “in the name of its own good”. Using the very same scheme, “the curing” neoliberal austerity measures and restrictions of Berlin and Brussels, which let “the banks to eat out the people” in the crisis of 2008-2009, have given birth to a powerful wave of dissatisfaction and loss of trust in the EU. Given that the leaders of the socialist parties in most of the European countries also applied these openly right receipts, as if they were ashamed of their own left roots, the indignant squares have searched for fresh air in the more radical movements.
The refugee crisis which came in the next year was connected directly with short-sighted policies in support of wars that destroyed the world order. This crisis fuelled the right radicalism, nationalisms, xenophobia, hatred and confrontation.
It might be too exaggerated for some to read these facts and conclusions in the current heat of the month of vacations – August, but Europe has already bred all those factors that have been characteristic for the situation in the old continent in the beginning of the Third Reich’s expansionism and the following World War Two. Of course, today the conditions are different. But the atmosphere is quite similar to the pre-war one. Large human masses have lost the solid ground below their legs, have lost their beliefs, lack perspectives, and are irritated by the eurocracy.
After 1989 the Eastern Europeans have been giving life-force to the EU with their faith that the union is their door to prosperity. But they have not bidden farewell to their illusions. The overpraised European fund, programs and projects have fed corruption and infraction in our part of the continent, instead of choking them. There is not a single small entrepreneur who has prospered as a result of an application for an European project. To the contrary – this effort will most likely lead these people to bankruptcy, unless the expenditures they make are recognized and recovered. There are thousand families in Bulgaria which have fallen in this trap – they have mortgaged their apartments and real estate, in order to finance the respective project, often for family business, and then they have had to pay out impossible loans, because some mistaken declaration has cut their access to the cherished recovering of 60% or of 80% of the expenditures.
At the same time large firms, media or NGO-s in lobbyist or friendly relationship with the consecutive governors turn out to be “subscribed” for permanently profit-yielding projects…
The injustice, the disbalances, the instability on global scale also scream piercingly. A belt of wars, conflicts, famine and poverty, which has been produced by the “white” world itself has tighted up around itself like slip-knot. Instead of searching for a dialogue and for solidary resolution to world’s problems, the “great” powers play the joke of sanctions wars and thus undermine additionally the world economy, eating away with the power of an insecticide the resistance forces of humanity.
On 2 August 1935 Georgi Dimitrov reads his famous report before the VII Congress of Commintern where he calls for common people’s fronts against fascism in a situation very similar to the present one. He gives a classical definition: “Fascism… is an openly terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionist, most imperialistic elements of the financial capital”. A little bit later he clarifies the things additionally: “Fascism – this is the power of the financial capital itself”.
For sure there are people who would sign this statement: people whose homes have been swallowed by the banks because of unbearable mortgages or people from countries such as Greece, to whose example the EU, the ECB and the IMF answered, showing that solidarity remains an empty phrase when “the international creditors” protect the interests of the big money – of their own capital and of the private banks…
The participants in the so-called Progressive Forum – a space for dialogue and debates, created in 2015 by 60 members of the European parliament from different parliamentary groups remind that the time comes for anti-fascists people’s fronts or at least for union of all sectors of the left. These MEPs are convinced that the society must be based on the principles of solidarity, democracy, social justice. They also believe that the EU must be built not by isolated and bureaucratized “elites”, but by the European citizens themselves and by their social movements. The Progressive Forum is the engine for the debates in the European Parliament on topics such as the dubious agreements on free trade (TTIP, CETA and so on), the minimal salary and the base income, the rejection of austerity, the harmonization of the social rights in the EU, and so on…
In May 2017 the MEPs from the Progressive Forum where there are representatives of the groups of socialists and democrats, of the United Left and of the Northern Green Left, as well as of the Greens, announced they have written a document, called “The missing scenario: there are alternatives for the Europeans!”. This is the left answer to the right “five scenarios” for the future development of the EU, outlined by the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.
The alternative left scenarios of the EU has these 6 accents:
- Need for social justice and solidarity: guaranteeing the conditions for a decent life and labour for all Europeans
- Democratisation of the Union
- A recovery and solidarity economy
- Creation of a sustainable society
- Creation of social regulation of globalization
- Policy of peace
Two Bulgarians are among those who have signed the document – Georgi Pirinski is a coordinator of the Progressive Forum and a MEP from the group of the socialists and democrats, while Kostadinka Kuneva, although Bulgarian, is a MEP from the Greek party “Syriza”, and a member of the Group of the United Left and the Northern Green Left.
The last year or two marked an important tendency for a turn to the left among a part of the leaderships of the socialist parties in Europe, that have been brainwashed until recently to pretend to be right, thinking that there’s no other way for the voters to like them. The notable rise of the authentically left Jeremy Corbyn as the lead of the British Labour Party destroyed these whims.
In his turn, after he reacted to an internal coup, made by the “barons” in the Spanish Socialist Working Party, the left-leaning Pedro Sanchez achieved a revanche, and became the party’s leader again. That is how the distance in popularity between the PSOE and the ruling right-wing People’s party got lower. Before the return of Sanchez the difference in approval has been 11,6%, while now it is 3,9%.
Quite late a similar left turn was attempted by the members of the French Socialist Party, who chose the supporter of the base income Benoît Hamon as their candidate at this year’s presidential elections. But his candidacy was practically sabotaged by the outgoing socialist president Francois Hollande, who promoted Emmanuel Macrone – “neither left, nor right”. As a result Hamon was left behind the lefter Jean-Luc Melenchon, the candidate of “La France Insoumise”. By the way on 1 July 2017 Hamon left the failed French Socialist Party and announced he would starts his own political movement, called “1 July”.
At a discussion, organized by the Progressive Forum in Brussels in June, the French MEP Isabel Toma, deputy-president of the Group of Socialists and Democrats said: “This year we finished the large coalition with the right and the liberals and now we, the left, are separate. Our alternative positions in answer to the right’s policy are in support of an urgent action in three directions: to end the Stability Pact (who announces restrictions in support of a low deficit – note of the author), not to accept the turning of the Greek people into a hostage, to accomplish economic change, the society to be based on sustainable growth, not to let Europe suffer from globalization and its negative effects on employment, to stop the spiral of the social dumping”.
The return of leading European socialist parties to their natural left fold can only be welcomed. Let’s hope that this fashion tendency will reach Bulgaria soon and let’s hope it will not remain only words.