The ECB as Monarch and Dictator
Under the cloak of a colossal financial crash are EU voters being hoodwinked into signing away hard-fought-for European democracy to an elitist banker class and doing so without a whimper?
Conspiracy theory is rife all over the Internet but there is one thread of events now causing much concern to an increasing number of writers and commentators on the web — a development that reaches way beyond the usual flood of delusional conspiracy theory .
Writing in the French magazine Marianne, Rudo de Ruijter, a Dutch investigative journalist, was one of the first to draw attention last September, to a controversy the German media had been intensely discussing.
Now as ECB bank governor, the Italian Mario Draghi, announces further squillions of euros of debt instruments created in the name and to the account of European taxpayers under a framework that is unaccountable to those ultimately responsible for paying, others are beginning to raise their voices.
French News Online first reported the concerns raised by Rudo de Ruijter here: “Since early September (2011) the German mainstream press and internet blogs have been drawing attention to an extraordinary video — –The Exorbitant Powers of the ESM — produced by an activist watchdog Abgeordneten-check, a group founded by journalists which monitors how the German Parliament’s MPs vote on various issues.
The four minute video claims to “expose the dictatorial workings” of the European Stability Mechanism, the permanent euro bailout fund. The video presents a sampling of quotes from the treaty which is to be signed into law by all Eurozone member countries, and follows these by short comments. The ESM is scheduled to replace the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) , after being voted on by all relevant Parliaments by Dec. 31, 2012 and enter into force in July 2013.
Among the treaty quotes on the video is one referring to Article 9, 3: “ESM members hereby irrevocably and unconditionally undertake to pay on demand any capital call made on them by the Managing Director pursuant to this paragraph, such demand to be paid within seven days of receipt.”
The video commentator asks: “Irrevocably and unconditionally? Does that eliminate the right of future Parliaments to change the law?” Article 10 says the video states that the Board of Governors “may decide to change the authorised capital stock and amend Article 8 accordingly.” That notes the commentator implies that the capital stock of 700 billion euros laid out in Article 8 is only the beginning, and more money for the bailouts can be expected… to be paid irrevocably and unconditionally.
Then there’s Article 27.2: “It shall have full legal capacity to… be a party to legal proceedings”, and paragraph 3: “The ESM, its property, funding and assets, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall enjoy immunity from every form of judicial process…”
So, says the commentator the ESM may sue whomsoever it wants to, but cannot in turn be sued? Does this mean it will take legal action against our governments, our parliaments or citizens, the commentator asks? Paragraph 4 of the same Article 27: “The property, funding and assets of the ESM shall, wherever located and by whomsoever held, be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation or any other form of seizure, taking or foreclosure by executive, judicial, administrative or legislative action.”
Moreover, paragraphs 5 and 6 state that the archives, documents and premises of the ESM are inviolable. So , says the commentator, the ESM is not only immune from judicial proceedings, but no government may take action against it, and it stands above democratic laws. That’s a tremendous amount of power for an institution, the commentator notes in an understatement.
And finally, Article 30 is quoted: the governors, directors, “the Managing Director and other staff members shall be immune from legal proceedings with respect to acts performed by them in their official capacity and shall enjoy inviolability in respect to their official papers and documents.” In other words, accountable to no one, the commentator asks? Do inviolable papers and documents mean no one may see them? And we would add, are the future ESM officials so sure that they will be violating the law, that they have to take extra precautions to protect themselves against legal action?
The video urges voters to lobby their MPs online and by September 5, well over 130,000 German citizens had done so. The report of the video has been carried in Die Welt which said its initial inquiries to the German SPD party drew a no comment, while the CDU said the video had presented the quotes out-of-context and the Greens claimed that despite the treaty provisions, the Bundestag still has control over the budget. (Hat tip to Rudo de Ruijter – Note the above article was written before the latest developments and the document above appears to have morphed directly into the ESM Charter [see John Ward below]).
The Guardian newspaper, published in London, carries an article by Dr Gunnar Beck, a specialist in EU law at SOAS, University of London, and a practising lawyer, that neatly sums up the latest concerns of many Germans over the arrangements being rushed through to save the euro. These he suggests will, unasked, thrust further financial burden on future generations: “Germans could be consigned to serfdom to save the euro The proposed rescue fund for Europe not only breaches German law and EU treaties but could condemn a generation…”
Meanwhile John Ward over at the Slog Blog compares the ECB governor’s latest moves to Hitler’s 1933 Post-Reichstag Fire Emergency Decree: Draghi reinvents the Divine Right of Kings.
“Hitler’s 1933 Post-Reichstag Fire Emergency Decree had nothing on the newly drafted ESM Charter. You can Read it here in full at the EU website: the mad folks are getting more brazen by the day, but they’re still leaving the nasties until the contemporary MSM journalists get bored: so the really startling stuff doesn’t appear until Article 32. …and then writes John Ward there is one astonishing phrase in there which I feel duty bound to lift and separate from the rest :
‘”The archives of the ESM and all documents belonging to the ESM or held by it, shall be inviolable. The premises of the ESM shall be inviolable.’
“The International Law Society definition of ‘inviolable’ is ‘unassailable and impregnable’. Or in one word, untouchable. Or an yet another word, supreme.
“Or in a final word, Sovereign.
“You have been warned.”
Story: Ken Pottinger
- Germans could be consigned to serfdom to save the euro | Gunnar Beck (guardian.co.uk)
- Mish/ Mike Shedlock – Actual Constitutional Case Against OMT And ESM; Why Bond Buying Undermines Democracy; Is Draghi Above The Law? – 10 September 2012 (lucas2012infos.wordpress.com)
- Markets Cheer ECB Plan to Shore Up Euro – New York Times (nytimes.com)
- ECB plan puts independence in question: senior Merkel MP (news.yahoo.com)
- Concerns about Euroland Bank Runs
- EU Leaders Fire Blanks at the Enemy
- John Ward – The ESM’s Articles : Today’s Must-Read – 10 September 2012 (lucas2012infos.wordpress.com)