Decline of Euro Directly Related to Sanctions On Austria
My father was forced to leave Vienna in 1935 when he was unable to get a job in state supported musical organizations. His elderly mother refused to leave until after the Anschluss, when she just barely managed to escape after being taken from a café and made to wash the streets. As late as 1979, when my wife and I visited Vienna on our honeymoon, it was abundantly clear that anti-semetism is alive and well in Austria.
As a psephologist with the Institute of Election Analysis for the past 20 years, I have made a study of the relationship between politics and government policy. The issue facing Austria, the EU and the world is how best to rid that nation of its clannish attitudes.
When the EU first announced sanctions against Austria, I told the Austrian Consul in New York that were I person of greater wealth and less character I would sell the Euro short. The decline of the EU currency is a direct consequence of its parochial and immature attitude toward Austria.
To punish a country that has committed no crime but has conducted a completely free and fair election merely because one objects to the apparent outcome is nothing less than an outrage. Austria is not Algeria, where EU support for suspending democracy has led to a civil war claiming tens of thousands of lives.
France, with its human rights history in Vietnam, Belgium in the Congo, Britain in India, Portugal in Angola, and Italy in Ethiopia all have ample histories of genocide to make their criticism of Austria hypocritical in the extreme. The United States was the first documented user of germ warfare when the Army deliberately gave smallpox infected blankets to the Cherokee indians during their forced removal from Georgia to Oklahoma. Israel's actions in Lebanon and the West Bank. And the whole United Nations support for the current genocide against Iraq should remind people not to pass judgement on others.
Anyone is capable of committing atrocities under the correct circumstances.
Who would have thought, given the history of McCarthyism during the Cold War of the 1950's, that Richard Milhous Nixon would one day sit for tea with Mao Tse Tung?
In the old days, voters elected the solution to problems: rural electrification, paved roads, public school. Today, in an era when mankind himself is the greatest threat to his own survival, people elect the problem and force it to govern. With responsibility comes wisdom. In the sixties it was called co-opting the opposition.
The new government in Austria should be judged by its deeds. The partisan, political meddling by the EU in the internal affairs of a member state, if allowed to continue, will destroy the EU entirely.
The conditions necessary to inspire confidence in an organization is rule of law. Austria has committed no crime. Newly elected governments in the United States are usually granted a 100 day honeymoon period by the press. I am willing to wait to see the policies and conduct of Wolfgang Schüssel's new government before making a judgement.
It is also well to remember that, Shimon Peres's misstatements notwithstanding, not even Hitler claimed to have come to power democratically. Hitler said he came to power legally.
All victims of prejudice know that the only real safety lies in democratic elections with honestly enforced laws. No one who cares about the safety of their hard earned money would ever invest in the currency of people who don't follow their own rules.
The weakness of the Euro is a direct response to the EU's sanctions against Austria. Until the EU obeys its own laws, only a fool would hold Euro based assets.
All people and nations must be judged by their deeds.
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Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf